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Posts for March, 2009

Exodus’ Silence About Uganda: Day Five

Timothy Kincaid

March 6th, 2009

On Friday, February 27, we inquired to be certain that Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, was aware of the character and history of those participating at the Uganda anti-gay conference. Alan’s response was off the record. But because he responded we know he received our email and was therefore aware of the list of presenters and of our concerns.

So on Monday we asked him to let us know if he and the Exodus leadership would develop a position on Don Schmierer’s activities in Uganda.

Since that time, conference speaker Scott Lively has endorsed the criminalization of gay persons and declared that the Ugandan government should “subject the criminals of homosexuality to a therapy”.

To date, we’ve not heard back from Alan as to whether he, Schmierer, and the rest of the Exodus leadership denounce the theme of Schmierer’s conference or if they too endorse criminalization of homosexuality and forced ex-gay therapy. Until we hear otherwise, we must assume that their silence is an indication that their board member is representing them in Uganda and that they endorse the positions taken by the conference.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Exodus Board Member Participates In Uganda Conference Calling For Forcing Gays Into Conversion Therapy

Jim Burroway

March 6th, 2009

Nazi Revisionist Scott Lively has talked Ugandan anti-gay activist Stephen Langa and a Ugandan parliamentarian into proposing a law forcing people convicted of homosexuality into ex-gay therapy:

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo has today told a conference organized to discuss the ways to fight Homosexuality that he will soon submit a bill on pornography and homosexuality for discussion in Parliament. …

Buturo says the government will not only end at making laws against homosexuality but will also engage in sensitizing schools and churches in the fight against this vice.

The President of Defend the Family International, Scott Lively says it is good for the government of Uganda to criminalize homosexuality but the government should subject the criminals of homosexuality to a therapy rather than imprisoning them.

Lively says this is aimed at the criminals recovering from homosexuality which is the main objective of those fighting homosexuality and not to punish homosexuals through imprisonment. He says even schools should borrow this idea of therapy in dealing with gay students.

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Exodus International boasts that it is “the largest Christian referral and information network dealing with homosexual issues in the world.” As Exodus Internationals board member, Don Scmhmierer, who is speaking at that conference, carries the most credibility — such as it is — of the three to speak out on ex-gay issues. He is certainly the only one who can credibly speak to ex-gay policy, and specifically the policy of Exodus International. He spoke yesterday at the conference, but so far reports show him as silent on this proposal.

Exodus International now has the moral imperative to to state unequivocally its position on both the criminalization of homosexuality, as well as its position on bills which would force unproven, unsanctioned, and unregulated ex-gay “conversion” therapies on gays and lesbians.

And Exodus International also has the moral imperative to publicly face its own responsibilities in participating in a conference with those who excuse violence against gay people, and who actively promote a style of “therapy” which Exodus at one time had publicly condemned. It was just one year ago in which Exodus appeared to signal an intention to move to a more responsible position in its policies. Exodus’ official policy is to denounce the “extremes” of those “who respond to homosexuals with ignorance and fear.”

If there is any meaning whatsoever behind Exodus’s words, then Exodus International’s leadership and board have no choice but to clarify its positions on the legal aspects of homosexuality and forced conversions, especially now that a recognized Exodus board member is actively participating in a conference which has publicly advocated such draconian measures. Exodus must now, both here and in Uganda, forcefully, loudly, unequivocally and unambiguously condemn this proposal.

It is time for Exodus President Alan Chambers and board chairman Bob Ragan exercise leadership by acting boldly and swiftly. Anything less will be seen as silent assent, carrying the board’s stamp of approval.

Update: Warren Throckmorton calls on Alan Chambers and Richard Cohen to have their representatives make public statements distancing themselves from this latest proposal. “And they should come early,” he warns. David Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch warns that Exodus has a “very short window in which to soundly renounce the entire conference, the idea of forced therapy and, as we suggested earlier, call for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and the rest of the world.”

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Warren Throckmorton Speaks Out Against Uganda Conference

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2009

The very same Ugandan online portal which broke the story about the three American anti-gay activists speaking at an anti-gay conference in Kampala has an update featuring comments by American psychologist Warren Throckmorton.

The Uganda Pulse web site originally broke the story on February 22, in an article which was little more than a press release by Stephen Langa of the Kampala-based Family Life Network. That article revealed that Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation will be conducting a seminar on homosexuality in Kampala beginning tomorrow today. Throckmorton’s response appeared in the same online portal today, in an article whose title appears to identify Throckmorton as a gay activist:

…Throckmorton says that he believes it is a big mistake for these US people to go to Uganda and discuss prevention of homosexuality when they are not scientists and have no training to discuss these matters in a reliable or factual manner. He says people who are involved are not qualified to speak about the causes or change of homosexuality.

“None of them have any research on the topic or scientific qualifications to understand the research on the subject. They will be spreading old ideas about homosexuality which even Christian psychologists in the US and Europe have dismissed as without support,” he says.

He says that one of the presenters has a significant problem with credibility. “Caleb Brundidge is affiliated with Extreme Prophetic here in the US. He leads groups to mortuaries to attempt to raise the dead! He believes God drops jewels and gold dust on worshippers but refuses to gain verification of these claims. He also claims he was gay and changed. Given his other claims, it is difficult to take any of his claims seriously.

I also believe it is dangerous for those who might struggle to admit their struggle in Uganda when it might land them in trouble with the authorities,” he says in a commentary sent to our reporter after we broke the story of the Conference.

“Mr. Schmierer is a board member for Exodus International and he should not be promoting questionable theories of prevention in a country where just admitting being gay can lead to serious consequences,” he adds.

In 2004, Dr. Throckmorton produced the ex-gay video “I Do Exist,” which came about as an outgrowth of his association with PFOX. Since then, he has become increasingly critical of PFOX, NARTH and Exodus, and he has spoken against the particular form of ex-gay therapy known as “Reparative Therapy.” He continues to support “sexual identity therapy” for those who request it, and he supports the right of providers to counsel their clients to “find congruence between religious beliefs and sexual feelings.” Last year, Noé Gutierrez, the star of “I Do Exist,” denounced the ex-gay movement, and said he now considered himself gay and Christian. ”I Do Exist” is still available, Throckmorton says, on a limited basis.

You can read more about Throckmorton’s criticisms of the Kampala conference here and here.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

International LGBT Group Expresses Concern About Uganda Conference

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2009

The Uganda seminar featuring three American anti-gay activists is starting to attract international attention. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, along with Sexual Minorities Uganda, has issued a press release denouncing the appearance of Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation at a conference to be held this weekend in Kampala. The IGLHRC said:

“This seminar is just another way of encouraging hatred and abuse,” said a spokesperson from SMUG.” We condemn their discriminatory words and actions that only lead to violence. Suffering is all that they are bringing to Uganda—all in the name of God.”

“There is a lot of misunderstanding about human sexuality,” said Ugandan Bishop Dr. Christopher Ssenyonjo, who was expelled from the Anglican Church for supporting gay people. “This workshop is going to bring more conflict, greater hostility, increased intimidation. We need love … in the long run, love will overcome.”

The U.S. religious right has a history of exporting homophobia to Africa. With support from anti-gay organizations and faith leaders such as Family Watch International and Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, Pastor Martin Ssempa from Makerere Community Church has attacked not only gay men and lesbians, but also women’s rights and HIV activism. Pastor Ssempa has stated, “there should be no rights granted to homosexuals in this country.” In 2007, he organized a multi-denominational rally against LGBT rights in Kampala, where one cleric called for the “starving to death of homosexuals.”

As I said before, Uganda has a history of being a virtual powder keg when it comes to anti-gay violence and extremism — including publicly identifying them in the media and encouraging the public to hunt them down. There have been successive public anti-gay campaigns in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, where conviction can earn a life sentence.

This is life-and-death stuff. If history repeats itself, these three Americans may well have blood on their hands. Let’s all pray this doesn’t spark another convulsion in 2009. One thing you can count on: we will be watching this very carefully.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2009

Hello, Exodus? Someone in Uganda has some questions for you. And so do I.

An anonymous Ugandan gay blogger — gay bloggers are well advised to remain anonymous in Uganda — provides a fairly comprehensive backdrop against which three American anti-gay activists will be stepping. Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation will be conducting a seminar on homosexuality in Kampala next weekend. The conference is being organized by Stephen Langa, Director of Kampala-based Family Life Network.

GayUganda examines a new release by Langa announcing the conference, and he takes issue with Langa’s so-called “facts”:

[Quoting Stephen Langa, Conference organizer] ‘Uganda is under extreme pressure to dicriminalise homosexuality’, Uhhh? A stupid un-truth. Who is putting Uganda under pressure to decriminalize homosexuality? Why should a citizen’s sexual orientation and act of love be criminal, subject to the state’s intervention, criminal law and censorship? Why is it so important to be threatened with life in prison for making love to my lover? Too many questions, ..!

Ugandan newspaper headlines in 2007. Click to enlarge

Ugandan newspaper headlines. Click to enlarge

Today in Uganda, a conviction of homosexual activity can bring a life sentence. That law is a legacy of British colonial law, which originally only provided for a maximum term of fourteen years in prison. Ugandan lawmakers strengthened the law in 1990 to raise the penalty to life imprisonment.

But beyond the threat of life imprisonment, simply trying to live and get along can bring many hardships and dangers to gay Ugandans. Max Blumenthal wrote of a very recent reign of terror conducted by Ugandan evangelical pastor Martin Ssemp in 2007:

In August 2007, Ssempa led hundreds of his followers through the streets of Kampala to demand that the government mete out harsh punishments against gays. “Arrest all homos,” read placards. And: “A man cannot marry a man.” Ssempa continued his crusade online, publishing the names of Ugandan gay rights activists on a website he created, along with photos and home addresses. “Homosexual promoters,” he called them, suggesting they intended to seduce Uganda’s children into their lifestyle. Soon afterwards, two of President Yoweri Museveni’s top officials demanded the arrest of the gay activists named by Ssempa. Terrified, the activists immediately [went] into hiding.

Ugandan newspaper calling for arrest of a suspected gay man. Click to enlarge.

Ugandan newspaper calling for arrest of a suspected gay man. Click to enlarge.

According to Doug Ireland, one newspaper sported the bold headline, “HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City,” and provided details “so precise — physical descriptions, residences, places of employment, and the kind of cars they drive — that those targeted, almost all from the capital city of Kampala or its environs, were easily identifiable to their neighbors and co-workers. The newspaper’s list includes doctors, businessmen, clerics, broadcasters, lawyers, bankers, actors, musicians, and non-profit group staffers.”

Newspaper article from the 2006 campaign. Click to enlarge

Newpaper article from the 2006 campaign. Click to enlarge

That 2007 public reign of terror was a backlash against a press conference held on August 16 by a coalition of LGBT groups in Uganda to launch the “Let Us Live in Peace” campaign. Clearly, that call for peace didn’t get very far. That press conference, in turn, was in reaction to a similar media-led crackdown in 2006, urged on by the same daily newspaper which trumpeted the 2007 campaign. That newspaper, the Red Pepper, is owned by a government minister. Another government owned newspaper led an earlier crackdown in 2005 which led to several high-profile arrests.

Ssempa regularly conducts a poolside fellowship known as “Prime Time” at the Makerere University Swimming Pool. This Saturday, that venue will host the Americans in a special event for university students.

GayUganda continues:

And, something I find really pathetic. And part of what set me off on this rant. The case that he [conference organizer Stephen Langa] mentions. “Langa says that Uganda is now under extreme pressure from the same group to de-criminalize homosexuality. This group recently scored a landmark victory in a court case against the state in December 2008.”

The case he cites is a pure civil rights issue. A Ugandan was hauled to police, house broken into, undressed to prove his sex. And he challenged the state. The issue was, you don’t do this to any Ugandan. Period. And, the excuse that you did it because the Ugandan is a homosexual is not good enough.

…Langa, showing his true colours, uses this case to illustrate his point. Anything is okay against homosexuals.

So these are the dangerous waters that the American activists are stepping into. GayUganda is understandably upset about this latest foreign import into Uganda, especially considering that Uganda already has a very healthy domestic industry:

Ok, my friends from over the seas. Now, I can actually say there is proof that you do export homophobia. First it was the British with the law. Now, it is the Americans in a more insidious state. Bet you it will not be the last time. So, Africa, here comes our own involvement in the ‘Culture Wars’

Returning his attention to the Americans in his more recent post, GayUganda adds:

I kind of pity the Americans who are coming to preach. Imagine, in their country, being gay is not criminal. But they are coming to impress on poor Ugandans why some Ugandans should be imprisoned for life. Just because they are gay. If there was any justice, these guys should be asked some interesting questions.

GayUganda never gets around to actually posing any questions for the three Americans. He instead challenges us to demand answers. So yes, I do have some interesting questions myself, but only for one of the three Americans.

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Scott Lively, who describes the Nazi Party as having been “entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history,” is capable of saying pretty much anything. So I have no questions for him. And since Caleb Lee Brundidge, in addition to being a member of Richard Cohen’s discredited ex-gay ministry, is also active in a Phoenix ministry that goes around to various mortuaries trying to raise the dead, I don’t have much to ask him either. (Yeah, I know, that’s probably worth a whole post by itself.) I don’t think trying to engage either of them would be worth my breath.

But Don Schmierer, as an Exodus International board member, will use his credentials to speak out against gays in a country where LGBT people have very recently been literally hunted in the streets and in the media. And he will be speaking alongside and lending legitimacy to some of the more infamous American and Ugandan anti-gay firebrands.

So as I reflected on this, there are literally dozens of questions which popped into my mind — beginning with, “What on earth are you thinking?”

But in the end, it all comes down to this: given what gay Ugandans have been through the past few years, isn’t it about time Exodus let them live in peace?

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Exodus Board Member Joins Nazi Revisionist At Uganda Conference

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2009

A Uganda-based anti-gay group has announced that American Nazi revisionist and anti-gay extremist Scott Lively will appear at a three day conference in Kampala, Uganda beginning on March 5th.

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Joining him will be Exodus International board member Don Schmierer. He heads a group called His Servants, and is the author of five books related to ex-gay counseling. He’s been quite a globe-trotter lately, having traveled to Seoul, South Korea, in March of last year, as well as to the Ukraine last summer.

Also joining them will Caleb Lee Brundidge, a staff member at Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation, which advocates the controversial “holding” or “touch” therapy to cure homosexuality.

Scott Lively is co-founder of the international anti-gay extremist group, Watchmen On the Walls, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. He is also the author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, in which he writes that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.” In other words, it was gay people who brought World War II to Europe, built the gas chambers, and sent as many as twelve million people to their deaths.

Scott Lively speaking at a Watchmen conference in Riga, Latvia

Scott Lively speaking at a Watchmen conference in Riga, Latvia

Lively’s brand of rhetoric is unusually vitriolic, even by some of the more ardent anti-gay standards. He regularly describes gays as being sick and “followers of the Father of Lies.” When the Watchmen On the Walls held a rally in Novosibirsk, Russia, Lively excused Satander Singh’s murder in Sacramento. Lively contends that “civilization and homosexuals” are engaged in a full-blown war, which is part of the Devil’s design to destroy civilizations:

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. … 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.

This sort of extremist, paranoid rhetoric will probably go down well at in Kampala. Stephen Langa, Director of Kampala-based Family Life Network which is organizing the event, sees gay people posing the familiar sinister threats to children:

[Langa] says homosexuals in the country were boosted by a December 2008 Court victory which declared that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against homosexuals and that they should enjoy the same rights as enjoyed by other Ugandans.

Langa in a statement today said several homosexual groups are active in Uganda and are busy recruiting school boys and girls at an alarming rate using a variety of methods.

Lively struck up a friendship with Langa (PDF: 1.7MB/22 pages) during a tour of the African content Lively undertook in 2002. Like Lively, Langa is not immune to spreading demonstrably false conspiracy theories on this so-called recruitment drive (PDF: 8 pages):

In most cases, porn is a tool used by the homosexuals as the first step toward introducing homosexuality (sex between people of the same sex) to a conservative society like Uganda. They know that if they come directly, they will not be accepted, So what they do is introduce pornography first to that society. The porn then corrupts the minds and morals of that society. After that goal has been achieved, they then introduce homosexuality as an acceptable alternative to heterosexual (sex between a man and a woman) sex. This is because it is much easier to introduce homosexuality to a porn addict than a non-consumer of porn. For example, the founder of Playboy Magazine, was a self-professed homosexual.

In 2004, Langa spoke out more specifically on what he sees as the threat to schoolchildren:

“FLN has also found out that homosexuality and lesbianism are spreading like wild fire in schools,” Langa said.  “There is rape inside schools and sex among students themselves. We have also found incest and cases of teachers molesting children and a lot of abortions,” he added.  Much of the promiscuity is germinating from viewing pornography in the media and the Internet and blue movies.  “If nothing is done to address the present state of affairs, the present generation of parents will find themselves having to bury their children instead of their children burying them,” Langa stressed.

This conference will be taking place on very dangerous ground for LGBT citizens and residents of Uganda. Martin Ssempa, the influential evangelical pastor at Makerere Community Church, has called for open season on LGBT people:

August 2007, Ssempa led hundreds of his followers through the streets of Kampala to demand that the government mete out harsh punishments against gays. “Arrest all homos,” read placards. And: “A man cannot marry a man.” Ssempa continued his crusade online, publishing the names of Ugandan gay rights activists on a website he created, along with photos and home addresses. “Homosexual promoters,” he called them, suggesting they intended to seduce Uganda’s children into their lifestyle. Soon afterwards, two of President Yoweri Museveni’s top officials demanded the arrest of the gay activists named by Ssempa. Terrified, the activists immediately into hiding.

This is no idle threat. Homosexuality is officially illegal in Uganda. Conviction can lead to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, while sodomy carries a penalty of fourteen years to life.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

LaBarbera Award: Scott Lively

Jim Burroway

January 27th, 2009

It doesn’t get any more disturbed than this:

Repealing the ban on open homosexuals serving in the U.S. military would be a mistake of historic proportions.” warns a Massachusetts attorney and pastor who authored a book on homosexuality in Nazi Germany….

Certainly there would be a mass exodus of normal men from a homosexualized military,” said [Scott] Lively, “probably leading to the reinstatement of compulsory service. (Watch the anti-war Lefties become supporters of the draft when it’s used to remedy “homophobia”) And yes there would be severe morale problems for normal men forced to live as the objects of sexual interest of other men with whom they share close quarters. However, the much bigger, longer-term problem is the threat of a homosexual takeover of the military branches.

Most people don’t realize that male homosexuality does not always lean to the effeminate. Historically, male homosexuality was much more often associated with hyper-masculine warrior cults which were usually very brutal and very politically aggressive. The most recent example was in Germany. Hitler’s initial power base when he launched the Nazi Party was a private homosexual military force organized and trained by a notorious pederast named Gerhard Rossbach.

We usually use this award to mock and laugh at the crazier things that are said about us. But unlike LaBarbera, Scott Lively is no mere buffoon. His influence is actually quite dangerous.

Scott Lively is the author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, in which he claims that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.” In other words, it was gay people who brought World War II to Europe and killed twelve million people in the gas chambers. This book has been particularly popular among the Slavic immigrant communities of Sacramento, San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest, and it is gaining influence in Russia as well.

Scott Lively is one of the co-founders of the virulent hate group Watchmen On the Walls, along with Seattle pastor Ken Hutherson, Latvian pastor Alexey Ledyaev, and Sacramento anti-gay agitator Vlad Kusakin. Lively’s message has been received especially well among audiences in the former Soviet Union, many of whom are eager to blame gays for the horrible suffering many of their relatives faced during the Nazi invasions of their communities in World War II.

The Watchmen’s rhetoric has been particularly violent, tinged with the talk of war and the influences of evil forces. At a Watchmen conference in Latvia, Lively described gays as “followers of the Father of Lies.” He further described gays being sick, claiming that we don’t want to be gay but that the militant homosexual leadership has us somehow in their grip. When the Watchmen On the Walls held a rally in Novosibirsk, Scott Lively excused Satander Singh’s murder in Sacramento. Singh was a gay man from Fiji who was murdered by Russian immigrants. Lively went on to describe the broader confrontation between “civilization and homosexuals” as the design of the Devil to destroy civilizations:

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. … 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.

Lively’s style fits in well with other Watchmen figures. Vlad Kusakin evoked Nazi imagery during a Watchmen meeting in Sacramento, saying that California’s anti-discrimination laws “opened furnaces which are even worse for our children” than those of Nazi Germany. Latvian Pastor Alexey Ledyaev lent his support to demonstrators who pelted Riga Gay Pride attendees with rotten food and feces. At the Watchmen conference in Latvia, Ledyaev prayed, “let a stone, without the assistance of a hand, come off the rock and hit this homosexual idol right on its legs!” Several members of the Latvian government are members of his New Generation evangelical church.

Ken Hutcherson: Rejecting “Loving the Sinner?”

Jim Burroway

January 5th, 2008

There was a very quick article in Thursday’s Christian Science Monitor about the Watchmen On the Walls. Yours very truly was interviewed for the story. The quote they used was a very quick one, about the Watchmen’s militancy and explicitly theocratic leanings. I wish reporter Ben Arnoldy had included my explanation that I am very careful about who I label theocratic. It’s a label that I very rarely use because very few fit it. But many of the Watchmen do. Nevertheless I think Arnoldy captured the gist of it.

Kenneth HutchersonOf course, I wasn’t the only one contacted for the article. Among others, so was Watchman co-founder Kenneth Hutcherson:

The Watchmen is a Christian movement that doesn’t teach hate or seek out violent followers, says Mr. Hutcherson, who is a pastor in Washington State. “God’s word does not allow us to hate. It tells us to stand up for righteousness and call a sin a sin,” he says. He rejects, however, the idea of loving the sinner while hating the sin. “The Bible says when a sinner will not separate himself from a sin then he is condemned with it. The one thing I’m trying to do is get heterosexuals out of the closet. We are the majority,” he says.

If Hutcherson really rejected the idea of loving the sinner while hating the sin, that represents an about-face from fellow co-founder and holocaust revisionist Scott Lively’s band-aide attempt in Riga, Latvia last November:

Scott Lively in RigaSay that with me. “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” That must be your phrase because that will protect you from being misrepresented.

Presented that way, it sounds more like a magical incantation instead of theology. Understandably, Hutcherson doesn’t believe in magic. I get that. And since he’s won’t even avail himself of that simple fig leaf of a phrase, I guess the rest of the nakedness metaphor becomes appropriate as well.

The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”

Jim Burroway

December 10th, 2007

(This series on the Watchmen On the Walls conference in Riga, Latvia held Nov. 14-18 is based on the videos posted on the New Generation web site. Translations from Russian were generously provided by Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma.)

Watchmen On the Walls Conference in Riga, Latvia, Nov 14-18, 2007.So far, our coverage of the Watchmen On the Walls’ conference in Riga, Latvia has focus on their depictions of the so-called dangers that homosexuality poses to civilization. They claimed that Christian society is besieged by the “homosexual movement,” by those who follow “the father of lies” who hold closely guarded secrets that they keep from the rest of the world, and whose actions have the moral equivalence of throwing innocent children into the furnaces of Nazi Germany.

But the Watchmen didn’t gather in Riga to just moan and groan about a world overrun with evil. They also wanted to impart a plan for combating this supposed scourge. We touched on one part of that plan — American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively’s call to his Russian-Latvian audience to come to Springfield, Massachusetts as missionaries.

But their greater plan was to prepare the way for the New Generation church movement to become more directly involved in political activism from the very top. I believe that the statements at the conference, combined with statements made by Watchmen leaders, illustrate a desire to create, at the very least, a theonomic-based system of governance not only in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, but in the West as well — including right here in America. And as always, I don’t ask that anyone take my word for it. Instead, I’ll simply offer you a generous sampling of their own words so you can judge your yourself.

Scott LivelySome of the positions advocated by Watchmen founders and spokespersons — including those of American Watchmen — run distinctly counter to the values of America’s founders. For example, American holocaust revisionist and Watchman founder Scott Lively wrote an open letter “to the Russian people” a month before the Riga conference, in which he offered this recommendation:

…[C]riminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don’t want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage “gay pride” parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.

Of course, Russia does not have the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and redress of grievances that we enjoy in the U.S., and recent events show that Russia doesn’t really need much encouragement along these lines. And so it’s very disturbing to see an America lawyer advocating totalitarian solutions for other countries, and one wonders what sort of country his movement would like to see here in the U.S. if they were to have their way here.

So how do the Watchmen see the role of church and state — or more specifically, their church and state?

David SobrepeñaOn Thursday evening (November 15), evangelist David Sobrepeña, Senior Pastor of the Word of Hope Church in Manila, Philippines, gave a talk on “the promises of God.” This talk was in many respects a continuation of the theme of “spiritual weapons” that Ledyaev opened the conference with the night before. As Sobrepeña spoke on Matthew 16:18 (“On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”), he described a militaristic vision of God’s promise that he said that passage represents:

I began to picture a militant army marching against the forces of evil. A great and vast army, very powerful, marching against the forces of hell. Do you know that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is greater in number and more powerful than the combined air force and military force of the United States, of Russia, of China, and all the other countries in the world?

The armies of the world are no match for the powers of Satan. But tonight, let me tell you brothers and sisters, that Satan trembles at the sight of God’s army we call the church. Over one billion committed Christians in the world today. God promised power to the church.

David SobrepeñaHe then spoke about the need for Christians to become active in government because that is where the real exercise of power takes place. As an example, he described his efforts to get a born again Christian appointed to the Philippines Supreme Court. This, he believed, was evidence that God ordained the church to wield political power:

The homosexual agenda, all the other agendas of this world by liberal politicians, don’t be afraid of them because the church will emerge victorious. The church will emerge victorious. Even though many times it seems like the power of darkness is covering our society and many people are backsliding. In the end, the church will emerge as victorious because Jesus promised a victorious church, a church without spot or wrinkle.

As the conference continued, a picture emerged which shows that their message is often an uncomfortably close fit to the Dominionist or Christian Reconstructionist movements in the U.S., and it directly follows the political stance of Alexey Ledyaev’s New Generation church movement. And while the Watchmen do not have an official statement on the role the church should play in a democratic society, it appears that many speakers at the Watchmen conference shared Ledyaev’s political views.

Alexey LedyaevIn 2002, Ledyaev wrote a political manifesto he called The New World Order. (A rough English translation was posted online by the New Generation church in Springfield, Massachusetts, Scott Lively’s new home.) In The New World Order Ledyaev says that the church needs to be the spark for a great revival.

But unlike most Christian denominations, he doesn’t place much value in promoting an evangelical revival among ordinary people — those “from the bottom,” as he puts it. Instead, Ledyaev, says that it’s far more important for this revival to take place among political and social leaders, “from the top.” He believes that if political leaders undergo a revival, then all of society will begin to change from the top down. The advantage of focusing on revival at the top, says Ledyaev, is that the kind of reform he seeks is not as likely “to be bogged down in a couple of years.” He writes:

When the government bows its knees before the name of Jesus Christ then the country will be Christian. It cannot be otherwise, because the God of the kings will sooner or later become the God of their nations. This is how life is.

And Ledyaev cites the United States as an example:

After a short break and a fierce election struggle God has once again restored Christian Government in USA. The born again president of the country, his administration that mostly consists of Christians on the key positions of authority – it is a great victory.

Advent to power of the Christian government does not mean that the whole country will at once automatically become puritan. It means that the country will have all preconditions for it, because in such circumstances church receives an unprecedented freedom to influence and to act.

George Bush Jr. is more of a preacher, than a politician. However, it is exactly this quality that determines his political insight, pragmatism and invulnerability.

Ainars ŠlesersThe Watchmen’s hopes for creating a “Christian government” for Latvia was on full display at the Watchmen conference. Just before David Sobrepeña took the stage, Ledyaev introduced three members of the Latvian government, all of whom are members of the Latvia First Party which is closely associated with New Generation. The first, Ainars Šlesers is one of the Latvia First Party’s founders and currently serves as Minister of Transport. He is also a member of New Generation and reportedly one of the wealthiest people in Latvia. He talked about the success he had in having Christianity taught in the public schools, and the importance of political engagement in the state.

Janis SmitsŠlesers was then followed by Janis Smits, who is a Latvia First member of parliament and, paradoxically, the chairman of that country’s Human Rights Committee. He also spoke out for the need for direct engagement against the gay rights movement in Latvia:

We’re living in a real world with real spiritual enemy. There is a spiritual war going on. Not only those people who gathered on the Square have their rights. We also have our rights: to raise our voice, to protect our government elected by us, our parliament, our deputies and our faith. Let’s not stand aside of this. Let’s actively participate in it.

…We can do it because we are the majority, we are united in our faith and our beliefs.

Inta FeldmaneAnother Latvia First member of parliament, Inta Feldmane, addressed the crowd that night:

We’re living in a global world where borders are vanishing. Through these borders not only people are moving, not only finances, services, but also philosophies, religions, false teachings and there’s a new enemy now: secularism and humanism, which places into its center not God and the Ten Commandments, but a human being, his wishes and will. I’d also like to say – sinful lusts.

Now it’s a struggle for that will and these wishes should become laws by which all people must live, including religious people. I thank God for Latvia being a chosen land, for these churches existing.

And she spoke about the constitutional separation of church and state:

They say that the Constitution separates Church and State and that’s why the Church is unable to speak and publicly protect its interests. It’s all a lie. The constitution only says that there should be no state church and that government can not interfere with church business and church can not interfere with governmental business.

But we do have a right for dialog. We have a right to express our opinion – publicly, in media and on such conferences. And we should know this. We will not allow our mouths to be silenced. We will not allow ourselves to be placed in a certain framework, stuck inside the walls of the church.

Joseph MatteraThe theological underpinnings for all of this were cemented on Friday afternoon when Joseph Mattera, senior pastor of Resurrection Church in New York City, spoke to the conference. Basing his talk on John 1:1 (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”), he said:

That means the Word of God is the starting point for all living and nonliving things. The Word of God is the starting point for mathematics, the starting point for biology, the starting point for grammar, for language, for science, for education and philosophy, for social structures.

The reason why the church is fighting the battle it is today is because a few hundred years ago, we forgot what I just said. We have given up the arts and the sciences. We’ve given up education and we’ve given up the study of nature to those who are secular humanists.

And so the church needs to be on the leading edge of all of these disciplines of life, because if all we’re doing is morality, then we will be trying to catch up for the next hundred years.

Larry JacobsBut the talks weren’t all political theory or theology. Larry Jacobs, of the World Congress of Families, was on hand on Thursday afternoon (Nov 15) to lay out a concrete strategy for confronting gay activists. It was a rather sketchy strategy, but it illustrates what the World Congress of Families sought to do in Warsaw last May. That strategy includes:

  • Shifting the anti-gay movement “from defensive to offensive.”
  • Changing the language, questions and parameters of debate (for example, say “natural families” a term which he says “drive(s) homosexuals crazy because if you’re not part of the natural family then you’re unnatural.”)
  • Finding ways to be seen as progressives, touting a better way of life for the economy and society.
  • Building new alliances among different Christian groups, whether they are Orthodox, Catholic or Pentecostal.
  • Using scientific data which “supports Biblical Truth” (Jacobs exclaimed, “The exciting thing about this is if we use this data it sounds like Scripture but the world listens to the scientists.”)
  • Reaching the next generation (For example, through children’s books and cartoons like The Veggie Tales).
  • Using the World Congress of Families, Watchmen On the Walls and others for networking, direction, encouragement and to celebrate the family.

To illustrate some of these efforts, Jacobs announced that they received a proposal from the Russian government to bring the World Congress of Families to Moscow in 2009. Several others mentioned planning for various conferences in various countries of the former Soviet Union as well as a Watchmen conference in Africa for 2008. While details of this African conference weren’t disclosed, there is a strong likelihood that it might be planned for Lagos, Nigeria, home of the Revival Assembly whose pastor, Anselm Madubuko, spoke at the Watchmen’s conference in Novosibirsk and who closed the conference in Riga.

And Scott Lively announced that his holocaust revisionist book, The Pink Swastika, will be released in a Russian translation in 2008, which will only serve to fuel the flames of hatred of gays and lesbians further in Russia and among Russian-speaking communities in Eastern Europe and the U.S.

Until the past few months, the Watchmen have largely flown under the radar. A quick round of private message to national gay-rights groups here in America has found that few people here know anything about them. The language barrier seems to have something to do with it, along with the fact that the Watchmen movement is a relatively recent phenomenon. But it appears to be an aggressive and growing movement, with the potential for serious repercussions internationally as well as here at home.

When Scott Lively spoke Thursday morning, he warned his audience that “We have to understand that we are being watched by people all over the world. There are probably even homosexual spies in this room.” And he said that those “spies” would like nothing better than to catch them saying something ugly or hateful. And then, of course, the Watchmen put videos of their conference on the internet for all the world to see. No “spying” is needed to see what this organization is all about. Their own images and words can now speak for themselves. All we have to do is watch them. And we will.

(Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma, for generously providing the English translations of the Russian speakers at the conference. You can read more about his work here.)

See all the posts in this series:
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 2: From Babylon To Jerusalem
The Watchmen In Riga, Interlude: A Pastor’s Prayer
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”

The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 3rd, 2007

(This series on the Watchmen On the Walls conference in Riga, Latvia held Nov. 14-18 is based on the videos posted on the New Generation web site. Translations from Russian were generously provided by Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma.)

Last week, we devoted extensive coverage of the Watchmen On the Wall’s five-day conference in Riga in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, and yet with all that we’ve barely covered the first day and a half of the conference. Much of those first sessions were devoted to promoting a doom-and-gloom scenario of a world besieged by “the homosexual movement.” While I intend to pick up the pace and wrap things up more quickly than I started, I want to be sure that you are able to thoroughly understand what these mostly American anti-gay extremists are telling the rest of the world.

And if you think that what I presented so far covers just about every ugly word that can be said about homosexuality, you’re tragically mistaken because there was another set of themes that were explored on Friday morning that I found to be shocking. I left you last week with Alexey Ledyeav’s prayer which went, “In the name of Jesus I curse this phenomenon! I curse the root of this movement! In the name of Jesus I curse the culture of death and say to it: DRY OUT!… ” Now I want to share with you two talks which immediately preceded that prayer.

Scott LivelyIt all began when Scott Lively returned to the stage on Friday morning (November 16), this time promising a “university course on the things the homosexual movement does not want you to know.” And I have to say that this has to be the most amazing anti-gay talk I have ever heard — and remember, I sat through the Family Impact Summit in Florida last September. But nothing I heard there prepared me for Lively’s talk that morning. I don’t have the powers of written expression to fully convey how strange his talk was. That’s why I strongly encourage you to watch the video yourself. (Unfortunately, Lively doesn’t begin speaking until the 19:30 mark, but you can listen to Russian contemporary Christian music while you’re waiting.)

But I understand that not everyone can sit still for an hour-long anti-gay speech. So I’ll do the best I can with the highlights. Lively began his talk on the “secrets” of the homosexual movement this way:

“The first thing that the homosexuality community doesn’t want you to know, number one, most homosexuals do not want to be homosexual. Homosexuality is a disorder inside of you. It’s when you have an attraction, a sexual attraction, towards someone of the same gender. Every person that begins to feel this attraction towards someone of the same gender knows that it’s wrong, because they live in a world where they see what is normal and they can compare the way they feel with what everyone else does.

Lively explained that lots of teens experience same sex attractions during puberty, but most of them pass through this “phase” and the feelings go away. But for some, it’s becomes more than a phase:

Scott LivelyBut for some people, for different reasons, they don’t overcome it. But all of them know that it’s wrong, and almost all of them feel ashamed and they don’t want to have this. And so they begin to struggle against it. Inside themselves they struggle against the feelings. … But it’s also very difficult to overcome. And so what happens is they struggle and they struggle and they struggle against the feelings. And they fail and they fail and they fail and they fail. And then after a while, they give up struggling because its too hard to keep struggling against something that they can’t defeat. So they give in to the feelings.

This is the secret to why the homosexual movement is so aggressive about making society accept them. Because they’re living a lie about who they are. Their acceptance of a gay identity is an admission of failure. And so psychologically they turn it around. Because they feel so much shame, they create “gay pride.” And they insist that they’re full of pride about who they are. And it’s just a gigantic self-delusion. It’s a psychological self-defense mechanism. And it makes these people social activists. But that’s the first secret: most homosexuals do no want to be homosexual.

Lively’s explanation of the first “secret” is barely coherent. He doesn’t cite a single study, nor does he provide one scintilla of evidence — not even anecdotal evidence — that gays and lesbians who have come to terms with their sexuality “do not want to be homosexual.” Instead, he simply provides this explanation as though it were established fact. It’s a surprising “secret,” one which, I have to say, I have never heard in my nearly forty-seven years. It must be quite a secret indeed, one that even I am not privy to.

I really have no idea whatsoever where he could have gotten such an idea — unless the only gays and lesbians he’s ever met were members of ex-gay ministries. (He does mention ex-gays towards the end of this talk.) By definition, they don’t want to be gay. Is that where he got such a preposterous idea about gays and lesbians as a whole? If that’s the case, ex-gays would represent a rather unique echo-chamber which no reasonably intelligent person would mistake for being representative of gays and lesbians broadly. I suspect that most ex-gays would agree with me on that point at least. And so we’re left wondering where he could have discovered such a strange secret.

Lively continues:

Scott LivelyThe second secret of the gay movement has to do with the word “hatred.” Now, anyone who has stood up against homosexuality has been called a homophobe. … [T]here are two reasons for this, and many people know about the first reason. The first reason that they do this is to silence us. And that’s a kind of obvious thing.

But the second and more important thing is a secret. The homosexual leaders, the leaders of the homosexual movement, they are the ones who push this. Not the average homosexual. Of course many of them fall into using it as a tactic. But this aggressive accusation of hatred is coming from the homosexual leaders because they need to keep the other homosexuals inside of the gay community.

Remember, most homosexuals do not want to be homosexual. And if they really believed that there was a way to overcome their homosexuality, many of them would leave the gay community. And the people who have the real hope for change, the ones who have the ability to overcome their sins and their compulsiveness are the Christians. We’re the ones who have the power to help them. But the gay leaders can not let them know that. And so they have to keep calling us hateful bigots and they have to keep all of these gay people inside of their control. And they do this by making them afraid of us.

Here, Lively ascribes a degree of power wielded by “homosexual leaders” that few actual gay rights leaders would ever dream of. Lively says that the only reason most of us remain gay is because it’s the gay rights leaders are able to exercise some sort of mind control to make us afraid of Christians.

Did you get that? It’s the gay rights leaders who make the rest of us fearful. Not pastors who pray for curses. Not people who describe gays and lesbians as followers of the father if lies” or who write revisionist “history” books which claims that gays were responsible for Nazism and the holocaust. Not people who say that gays are subjecting children to “moral rape,” and who equate fair treatment in schools to the Nazi’s throwing children into the holocaust furnaces. And not people who lie about the gay-bashing death of Santender Singh..

No, it’s gay rights leaders who make gays and lesbians afraid of Lively’s brand of Christianity, according to Lively anyway.

Lively continued with secret number three:

Scott Lively The third secret of homosexuality has to do with this idea that homosexuals are born that way. Homosexuals are not born gay. God does not create people to have no choice in a behavior that he condemns. But it’s not the same kind of choice as choosing to become a carpenter or a journalist. Like I said, most homosexuals don’t want to have those feelings. But all sex is voluntary, except for rape. And so if a homosexual is living an active homosexual lifestyle, he is making a choice every single day.

Here, Lively plays a slight of hand, conflating behavior with orientation. It’s true that no behavior is compelled by circumstances of birth. And it is true that all consensual acts, including sex, are voluntary. But by confusing behavior with orientation, he performs a rhetorical trick which dismisses the very essence of what it means to be gay.

But having done that, it’s somewhat surprising that he goes back to cover the ground he skipped when he began revealing his thirds “secret”: Why are gay people gay? And here’s the thing that’s really fascinating.

I’ve been critical of anti-gay activists who claim that homosexuality is strictly the result of childhood experiences. I’ve also been critical of pro-gay activists who claim that science has proved that homosexuality is strictly biological in origin for all gays and lesbians. The fact is, neither extreme position has been proven to be true, and neither extreme position is likely to be true for all gays and lesbians.

But one thing that cannot be denied: Both sides are keenly interested in proving that their understanding of the origins of homosexuality is correct because they believe their framework bolsters their cause. And both sides eagerly tout every scientific finding that supports their beliefs while pretending the other findings don’t exist. Right?

Well, no. Lively has detected a different conspiracy. Hence the secret:

Scott LivelyThe real secret is that the gay movement does not want to find the cause of homosexuality. You understand what I’m saying? The gay movement does not want to find the cause. Why? Because the day that science finds the cause is the day that begins the race for the cure. Amen?

Think about it. If science were to come forward and say, “it is this gene,” then all of the secular people who don’t have any moral values, they would begin using the science, the gene selecting science that already exists to abort the children who have that gene. And the scientific community would be looking for a way to be able to prevent that gene from influencing the children. So whatever turns out to be the cause provides a place to begin searching for the cure.

And the gay leaders cannot allow this because they’re the ones who are so, … they’re insane, in their minds, because they are so deeply entrenched in this gay identify, they cannot leave it. They’re like the worst of the worst of the heroin addicts.

Here, at the mention of the word “addict,” Lively begins to turn toward the framework often employed by many leaders of the ex-gay movement by characterizing homosexuality as an addiction:

Scott Lively The most powerful addiction of all is sexual because we’re actually created to be sexual. Nobody’s created to be an alcoholic. When you give up alcohol, there’s nothing in your body that requires alcohol. But every body, male and female, is designed for sex. And the most powerful drug in all the universe is a human orgasm. It’s a human orgasm. Because when you have that sexual experience, it floods you brain with the same addictive chemicals that you get when you’re an addict. It’s like the ultimate pleasurable drug.

Now if you’re a young person and you’re experiencing same sex attraction, and someone comes along to you that’s an older homosexual and invites you to participate in a homosexual act, if you enter into that homosexual act and your first orgasm as a human being is the result of homosexual behavior, you can be locked in to an addiction that will last your whole life.

This strange theory is one which some anti-gay activists promote to explain how children and young adults are “recruited” into homosexuality. It’s this idea that some parts of our bodies are designed for sexual pleasure, and if our first experiences of that pleasure is associated with homosexual behavior, then presto! — we become gay due to some kind of Pavlovian conditioning. Some in the ex-gay movement offer similar theories of recruitment based on sexual molestation. I heard Christine Sneeringer of the Ft. Lauderdale ex-gay ministry Worthy Creations offer this explanation at last September’s Family Impact Summit in Tampa.

Lively ended his talk on an “ex-gay” who was dying of AIDS. The Livelys brought “Sonny” into their home and took care of him, and “Sonny” returned the favor by sharing these “secrets” with them before he died — which may partly explain the bizarreness of some of Lively’s “secrets.” Yet Lively used this story to build credibility for his “secrets” — after all, he got them from a pitiful former homosexual himself:

Scott Lively Sonny does not deserve our hate. He deserves our pity. And that’s who most of these people are. These are people who have become enslaved to a satanically inspired addiction. But their lives become so much defined by their perversion that they feel completely cut off form anyone else in the world. For these people the only hope is Jesus Christ and we are the only people that can bring them that message.

But the gay movement tells them that we hate them, we want to kill them and hurt them, and so they are afraid to talk to us. And so that’s another major secret. And you should take these secrets and use them to your advantage.

Lively said that there were more secrets, but he ran out of time and so “they’re going to have to wait for the next lecture.” That next lecture was given by George Neverov, a Sacramento resident who spoke on “Homosexuality Unmasked.” And just when it seemed that nothing could be more outrageous than Lively’s talk, Neverov began his talk this way:

George Neverov…[The USA] has a terrible secret and this country is afraid to reveal it. It caught a horrible virus on which I’d like to talk with you. This virus has a damaging impact. It aims to destroy the family and it’s name is homosexual culture.

To illustrate what that virus is, Neverov began reading from an essay that was originally titled “Gay Revolutionary” (anti-gay extremists have dubbed it “The Gay Manifesto“), a satire that was written in 1987 by “Michael Swift” and published in the Gay Community News, a radical Boston-based newspaper that went out of business in 1992. The more extreme elements of the anti-gay movement like to quote from this fictional call to arms as though it were a real manifesto. This essay performs a very similar function in anti-gay circles that The Protocols of the Elders Of Zion once served among anti-Semites: To stir passions and outrage against a hated minority.

You’ve heard quotations from the so-called “Gay Manifesto” before, but it was probably very new and horrifying to that audience in Riga, as it is to many audiences in America. Neverov read along as a Russian translation of the text appeared on a giant multimedia screen behind him:

George Neverov“We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, …”

And on it goes. Anti-gay extremists love reading this aloud to shocked audiences. But when they do, they invariably omit the preface. Neverov omitted it as well:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

That’s right. It’s a work of fiction, a satire — and the author said so when it originally appeared in the Gay Community News way back in 1987. In fact, the anonymous writer used the pseudonym “Michael Swift,” which is an obvious tip of the hat to the English language’s most famous satirist, Jonathan Swift. But whether Neverov or any of the other Watchmen are aware of this for not, the Latvian audience is almost certain to be uninformed of the nature of this so-called “manifesto.” And so Neverov points to this fictional essay and tells his audience, “You and me — all of us are ‘hetero swine’ — and they tell us to tremble.” And then he reflects on what the supposed manifesto means for all of us:

George NeverovI believe that outside the family, outside God’s design, a man gets into a psychological state where his soul is like a bucket without a bottom. No matter how much you pour into it, it’s impossible to achieve happiness, and that’s exactly the psychological state of homosexualists today.

This is often the reason why they are reaching for marriages. They just can’t get enough self-satisfaction. Their heart is on fire like in hell; they cannot satisfy themselves, so they want to sodomize the whole world — to have a broader choice for partners.

The rest of his talk continues along similarly alarmist lines as he focused on AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, complete with grotesque graphics on the multimedia screen:

Watchmen GraphicThis is a culture of death! But I won’t ever name homosexuality a culture. In all my publications you will see the word “culture” in quotes. Homosexuality does not have a culture: it’s immoral, and immoral means uncultured! And it destroys the human soul, emotions, healthy families! As we read in the manifesto, homosexuality aims to turn healthy families into hospital beds. That’s why this information is important to you! Your future depends on what you do with this information!

Neverov then goes though a long recitation (and butchering) of statistics and medical information about AIDS, some of it culled from such Cameronesque sources as LifeSite. Then Neverov closed his talk by issuing a stirring manifesto of his own:

George NeverovToday those 3% of the population have dictated to my governor of California what they will teach my kids and it’s very funny and disgusting, but on the other hand they do not have any rights to my kids! They do not have any rights to kids at all because they cannot birth children and we will not give them ours kids! And if you are listening to this information through the Internet – I WON’T GIVE MY KIDS TO YOU!!!

Listen, my dear — I am now speaking to the Church! You are still standing on your knees and praying and telling me that I need to leave Sacramento!!! You tell us to leave this struggle for good! I will not leave it because those are bloody figures, they are written in blood.

And that’s when Alexey Ledyaev took the stage and offered his prayer for the morning.

(Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma, for generously providing the English translations of the Russian speakers at the conference. You can read more about his work here.)

See also:
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 2: From Babylon To Jerusalem
The Watchmen In Riga, Interlude: A Pastor’s Prayer
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”

The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”

Scott Lively announces his move to Springfield, Massachusetts, and invites the world to join him as "missionaries to America."

Jim Burroway

November 26th, 2007

The Watchmen On the Walls held another conference two weeks ago, this time in Riga, Latvia, home of Alexey Ledyaev’s New Generation church. Ledyaev is one of the Watchmen’s founders, along with holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Seattle-area pastor Kenneth Hutcherson. This latest conference garnered very little attention here in the States, but since Ledyaev’s New Generation church put the video of the entire conference on their web site, I thought it might be informative to learn what was discussed in Riga.

Pastor LedyaevPastor Alexey Ledyaev opened the conference on Wednesday evening, November 14, with a strident sermon on the weapons of spiritual warfare. While he described these “weapons” as spiritual in nature, the war metaphors were pushed to their most militant limits as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy:

Liberalism is penetrating into our brain, but we must return to the fundamental things and name things as they are. If God names it evil, then we must name it evil. When you tell the truth, strength comes to you.

…We’re in the war and we’re in it because of trophies — human souls.

Today our home is being ravaged before our eyes. Our weapons are being taken away. We were strong when we had those weapons.

Conference audienceLedyaev stoked the crowd even further by describing the “danger” in the most ludicrous terms:

They are trying to wash our brains and explain that Bible is obsolete, that the form of the traditional family is obsolete. Today homosexualists boldly enter the schools with the bold slogan “Your kids are our kids. We will re-educate them.” Sexually immature kids are being seduced and taught about traditional and non-traditional sex. They are forced to cross-dress in order to feel which orientation is inside them. They are being told that if you are born as a boy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a man. If you were born as a girl, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a woman. It’s all happening now.

The devil is ravaging our home and I want to ask our Church: where are we? We are told to surrender our weapons and be silent – but we are refusing to take this dictation down. Because we have another commander-in-chief and he tells us to act!

Scott LivelyThings had calmed back a bit the following morning when American author and holocaust revisionist Scott Lively took the stage. And even though his talk was lower key than Ledyaev’s, it was no less provocative.

Lively began by bringing the conference up to date with the Watchmen’s activities over the previous months. He talked about going to Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, and then followed that with an account of the U.S. conferences in Sacramento and Seattle. And here’s where his grip on reality became somewhat tenuous. He began by talking about how the Watchmen had been “attacked” in a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

There’s an organization in the United States called the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is a very powerful and influential organization. This is an organization that got its start fighting against the Ku Klux Klan and racism in the Old South in the United States. And it became very famous for fighting against hate groups.

Then in about the nineteen nineties, then there was very, very little racism left in America. And this organization had no more people to investigate. So they picked a new target, what they called the Christian Right. Christian Conservatives. And they began taking the side of the homosexuals against the Christians.

Scott LivelyLively then went on to embellish the story about the attention the Watchmen received in Seattle:

The devil was trying to kill Watchmen On the Walls in Seattle. But God was with us. We had a very good conference and we got publicity throughout the whole state of Washington that we never would have had. But at the very beginning of the conference we held a press conference. And we met with the media and we told them who we were. And we wrote a statement about the Watchmen On the Walls and who we are. My translator, Lev here has translated it and it will be posted on the Watchmen On the Walls web site.

And the next morning, when we came to the conference, the sidewalks was filled with homosexuals with signs attacking us. And the media was back again. They were looking to see if there would be a fight. But what they saw was Christians coming to together to praise God and to stand strong on the values that he has given us about the family. And the next day, in the biggest newspaper in the whole state, was a very positive story about Watchmen On the Walls and about how it was not the hate group that we had been called. Glory to God! Hallelujah.

The largest newspaper in the state, The Seattle Times, did indeed write about the Watchmen. But it does not appear to draw any conclusions about who they are, as Lively claimed in Riga.

Scott LivelyBut Lively was clearly flattered by the attention, calling the Watchmen a very important international movement. And since they are now “very important,” they have to be careful with everything they say. “We have to understand that we are being watched by people all over the world. There are probably even homosexual spies in this room.”

These “spies,” Lively warned, would love nothing more than to catch someone associated with the Watchmen saying something ugly. And that’s where Lively coached his Russian-speaking audience with a new phrase that he claimed would inoculate them against the charges of being a hate group:

In America, the Christians have chosen a phrase that explains what we believe. And you may have heard this phrase. “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Amen? Okay. Say that with me. “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” That must be your phrase because that will protect you from being misrepresented. And it will bring you in harmony with Christians around the world.

And with that, Lively went on to speak in those “harmonious” terms that many Christians all over the world have used to describe gays and lesbians:

You have to understand how this battle works. We follow the God of truth. They Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of Truth, lives inside of us. But our adversaries follow the father of lies. Scripture calls him the “father of lies.” They can’t tell the truth, and they to tell the truth because they don’t want people to listen to what we have to say. But we can’t say anything that would give them proof that what they teach is right… So we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. We won’t stop telling the truth, and they won’t stop telling the lies. But this is a war.

Scott LivelyThat’s quite a long ways from loving the sinner.

Lively ended his talk that morning with an announcement that he and his wife will be moving to Springfield, Massachusetts to join a New Generation church which serves the Russian-speaking community there. And he invited others in Riga to join him in his quest to change America:

We’re going to Springfield as missionaries to America. We want to do the three tasks of the church. We want to take that goal of transforming society and to apply it in all the areas of life. And I want to invite you, whether you’re here in Riga, whether you’re watching on the Internet, or whether you’re watching on DVD, come to Springfield. Come and be part of the experiment. Help us to develop New Generation and the Watchmen On The Walls into the English-speaking world.

(Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma, for generously providing the English translations of the Russian speakers at the conference. You can read more about his work here.)

See also:
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 2: From Babylon To Jerusalem
The Watchmen In Riga, Interlude: A Pastor’s Prayer
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”

Watchmen On The Walls Conference Coming To Riga, Latvia

Jim Burroway

October 30th, 2007

The Watchmen On The Walls have announced their next conference in Riga, Latvia for November 14-18. Speakers include:

  • Scott Lively, revisionist holocaust author of The Pink Swastika.
  • Vlad Kusakin, publisher of the Russian language “The Speaker” in the United States.
  • Joseph Mattera, also from the United States.
  • Alexei Ledyaev, the Ukrainian- Kazakh-born pastor of the influential “New Generation” megachurch in Latvia.
  • Andrei Tischenko, a Bishop association of churches which operate under the “New Generation” umbrella in Ukraine.
  • Larry Jacob, vice president of the World Congress of Families.
  • Don Feder, author of Who is afraid of the Religious Right?
  • David A. Sobrepeña, senior pastor of the Filipino Word of Hope Church in Manila and head of “Transformation Philippines,” a conservative political lobbying group in the Philippines.
  • Anselm Madubuko, founder of an evangelical church in Nigeria.

Watchmen Wrap-up

Jim Burroway

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.

Alexei LedyaevLatvian 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.”

Ken HutchersonAnd 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.

Vlad KusakinAnd 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.

Low Turnout At Watchmen Conference

Jim Burroway

October 22nd, 2007

Protesters at the Watchmen conference
It looks like this past weekend’s Watchmen On the Walls conference turned out to be a bust. Organizers of the conference had expected 600 to 700 people to show up to the convention center in Lynnwood, Washington, but according to news reports the conference drew only a little over a hundred. It would appear that there were nearly as many protesters outside the convention center as there were conference attendees inside.

Seattle television station KING was there with a video report on the conference. Box Turtle Bulletin was credited for relaying the video of the Scott Lively speaking at the Watchman conference in Novosibirsk last August.

Scott Lively (center) surrounded by fellow Watchmen in Lynnewood

The Watchmen On The Walls issued this statement Friday during a news conference before the start of the conference:

We are the Watchmen on the Walls.

We are a global coalition of men and women of every race, color and nationality who believe in the superiority of the natural family and marriage between one man and one woman.

We are against cohabitation, divorce, abortion, adultery and other behaviors that weaken the marriage-based society on which civilization depends. But we are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family.

We do not promote or condone violence.

We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically and socially wrong, unnatural and harmful. This is self-evident to the vast majority of the citizens of the world, whom we represent.

We are the Watchmen on the Walls and we will not shrink from our duty.

Notice how they sandwiched a single statement about not condoning violence between statements characterizing homosexuality as “morally, physically, psychologically and socially wrong, unnatural and harmful” and the “chief enemy of natural families.” While they don’t seem to explicitly condone violence, they certainly couch their rhetoric in the language of warfare.

And in the face of real violence, Lively in particular has shown an amazing capacity to excuse it whenever it occurs. And Lively is no stranger to violence himself. According to the SPLC, Lively was ordered by a court in 1991 to pay $20,000 to a lesbian photojournalist he was accused of dragging by the hair through the halls of a Portland church.

See also:
Watchmen Wrap-up

The Watchmen: Protections for LGBT Youth Worse Than Holocaust Furnaces

Jim Burroway

October 18th, 2007

Earlier this week, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed several pieces of legislation which improves the rights of LGBT residents of that state. Much of that legislation is designed to protect students from harassment and bullying in public schools by making sure teachers and school administrators fully understand their responsibilities to protect youth.

These protections for LGBT youth have generated howls of protest among leading anti-gay activists. Not the least of them are the Watchmen On the Walls, an emerging international anti-gay extremist group we’ve been monitoring recently. The Watchmen will be meeting in Lynnewood, Washington this weekend. We’ve already offered a preview of some of the virulent, hate-inducing rhetoric emanating from that group from a Watchmen conference held last August in Novosibirsk.

Another glimpse into what we might find at the upcoming confab can be found in last weekend’s Watchmen gathering in Sacramento to protest the governor’s latest moves. For example, Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for Children and Families spoke at that Watchmen meeting and said that the new laws in California will leave children “morally raped” in the classroom. And then there’s this, from a translation of the Watchmen’s Russian-language web site:

Vlad Kusakin, human rights activist and owner of “The Speaker” media holding company, told the audience: “Now it’s time to rescue our children from the public schools as from a hellish furnace. Just like one who would prescribe the burning of kids in the Nazi’s concentration camps furnaces, now 65 years later Arnold Schwarzenegger opened furnaces which are even worse for our children by his signature. Pray and fast for the kids and families of California and take your kids out of public schools”.

We earlier reported on Scott Lively’s influence in the Slavic-American evangelical community. That influence comes mainly from his book, The Pink Swastika, where he blames gay people as being behind the formation of the Nazi Party and carrying out the Holocaust. This theory has been readily accepted among a population who suffered mightily at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. You can see this reflected in Kusakin’s remarks.

Lively, who with Seattle-area pastor Kenneth Hutcherson, and Riga, Latvia megachurch pastor Alexey Ledyaev, founded the Watchmen. Lively also spoke in Sacramento. Again, according to the Russian language web site:

Scott Lively, human rights activist, historian and lawyer, stated that “in American legislatures there are ways to pass, as well as to repeal, any law. Therefore, the only thing we’re lacking in the struggle for Judeo-Christian morality is the unity of the churches and the courage of clergy. Let’s put away our denominational ambitions and unite our prayers and efforts for the sake of rescuing the civilization.”

George Neverov cited statistics on deaths and diseases among homosexuals, and he also demonstrated that 3% of population is dictating the moral principles of life for the rest of overwhelming majority: “For how long shall we cowardly bend before a morality that is alien to us? For how long shall we swallow all that loathsome stuff that is imposed on us by immoral law-makers and minorities? When, O Church, will you raise in prayer and spiritual battle over the land that is entrusted to you?”

Ken Hutchison dismissed objections to the Watchmen’s violent rhetoric, telling The Seattle Times: “You’re going to have extremists on any aspect on any teaching.” But these extremists aren’t just some fringe part of the Watchmen movement. Lively and Kusakin, along with Hutcherson, are among the most prominent U.S.-based leaders. In the Watchmen world, these guys don’t represent the extremes; they’re at the very the core of the movement.

The SPLC’s Casey Sanchez reported that the Watchmen “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.” Maybe it’s time we learned a little Russian.

Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev for his help with the translations.

Ever Wonder What Anti-Gay Hatred Sounds Like In Russian?

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2007

Here’s American Scott Lively speaking alongside his Russian translator at last August’s Watchmen On the Walls conference in Novosibirsk:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3462412806399458879

See also:
From Novosibirsk To Lynnwood

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

Scott Lively Speaking in Riga in March

Jim Burroway

June 1st, 2007

Jeremey Hooper from Good As You found this video. Here is holocaust-revisionist Scott Lively speaking at a workshop at New Generations church in Riga, Latvia last March.

YouTube Preview Image

This is what the extremists of No Pride Riga are spreading.

American Anti-Gay Extremists In Collusion With Riga Pride Opponents

Jim Burroway

June 1st, 2007

Last weekend, we watched in horror as anti-gay violence broke out with police backing in the streets of Moscow during a peaceful demonstration. This weekend, all eyes will turn to Riga, Latvia, for their third Riga Pride. No Pride Riga, which staunchly (and in the past, violently) opposes Riga Pride, has warned on its web site that foreigners should stay away. But UK Gay News reports that they aren’t following their own advice.

American Scott Lively, author of the holocaust-revisionist book, The Pink Swastika is already in Riga. Lively goes beyond the small cadre of anti-gay extremists who deny that gays were victims of the holocaust. He claims that ‘homosexualism’ itself was responsible for the rise of the Nazi party and led directly to the Holocaust. He writes that “homosexuality is primarily a predatory addiction striving to take the weak and unsuspecting down with it.”

Despite the crackpot theories manufactured largely from rumor, conjecture and the recycling of popular myths, Lively’s book has become something of a best seller. It’s now in its fourth edition. While it has been dismissed by historians, it has gained a significant following among anti-gay activists, particularly among European neo-Nazi groups who have been responsible for several anti-gay assaults in recent years.

Lively has been active in Latvia recently. On March 21st, he was invited to speak at a Kaunas Police Academy about “the effects of sexual ‘freedom’ that is promoted by the homosexual movement.”

Another American anti-gay extremist rumored to be in Riga is Rev. Ken Hutcherson, of Redmond, Washington’s Antioch Bible Church. You may remember him for persuading Microsoft in 2005 to withdraw support for bill before the Washington state legislature that would have made it illegal to fire an employee due to their sexual orientation. After a huge outcry, Microsoft reversed its decision.

In recent years, Hutcherson has formed an alliance with Seattle- and Sacramento-area Slavic evangelical churches, as well as Latvian pastor Aleksey Ledyaev of Riga’s New Generation megachurch. Both Lively and Hutcherson were in Riga in March to speak at New Generation during Sunday services. It was on this visit that Hutcherson claimed to speak as a “special envoy” of President George W. Bush, a claim that was denied by the White House. Janis Smits, chairperson of the Latvian Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, was among the dignitaries who attended the anti-gay rally and spoke at the event. Also attending were Janis Pujats, Cardinal of the Latvian Roman Catholic Church; Inta Feldmane, member of Parliament; and Aina Krukle, representative of the Riga City Council.

Lively told that audience:

I have studied homosexual movement now for 17 years and with all responsibility state that currently Latvia a zone of intense confrontation between Christians and homosexuals…

This nation will be our main battlefield against this counter Christian culture. 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.

Last year, Riga officials banned the Pride parade. Indoor events went ahead, and No Pride protesters showed up and pelted participants with excrement and eggs. Two years ago, No Pride supporters tried to physically block the path of the parade. This year, with a new administration in city hall, officials are reportedly much more proactive in providing protection for Riga Pride participants.

Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organizers of last weekend’s Moscow Pride, is hoping to be in Riga. It’s uncertain if he can make it as his own legal problems stemming from his arrest last weekend may prevent him from leaving Moscow.

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