A new exhaustive investigation has found that Invisible Children, the non-profit behind the controversial viral KONY 2012 video, shares profound ties with The Family (aka The Fellowship), the secretive fundamentalist organization widely believed to be behind Uganda’s infamous ‘Kill the Gays’ bill.
The Family/Fellowship has been described as one of the most politically well-connected ministries in the United States. It shuns publicity and its members share a vow of secrecy.
Founded in 1935, its growing political clout was brought to widespread public notice by journalist Jeff Sharlet in books ‘The Family‘ and ‘C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy‘ as well as through extensive coverage on The Rachel Maddow Show.
The group follows the doctrine of Dominionism: conspiring to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.
Jesus = Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden
Sharlet has stated that the organization fetishizes power by comparing Jesus to “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden” as examples of leaders who change the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers”.
The new report by Bruce Wilson found extensive social and professional associations between the two groups. At least two of Invisible Children’s programs have involved collaboration with The Fellowship and its members. This includes a network of elite evangelical indoctrination centers in Uganda, which groom Christian youth for future leadership roles in the country.
Those centers work to raise up a cadre of elite Jesus-centered leaders who will transform their nation along “Biblical” lines; one apparent objective is the categorical elimination of homosexuality.
Commenting on the report, Wayne Besen, of the group Truth Wins Out, which has worked to alert the world to anti-gay religious activity, said:
“Given the incestuous ties, it is sometimes difficult to tell where Invisible Children ends and The Family begins. What is vexing is that both groups rightfully despise the murderous actions of Joseph Kony, but appear to be comfortably in the pocket of Uganda’s oppressive fundamentalist Christian dictator Yoweri Museveni. If these groups truly stand for freedom and liberty, it is difficult to understand their cozy relationship with the Ugandan strongman.”
Last month extensive funding to Invisible Children from conservative Christian organizations, including from The Family/Fellowship, was revealed, but this new report is the first to connect the two so intimately.
Alternet has reported that in a visit to Liberty University, a Christian college, Invisible Children leader Jason Russell encouraged students to use “extremely low-key, or stealth evangelism.”
Invisible Children, which releases the sequel to the KONY 2012 video today, has yet to comment on the new report.
Last month, in an international first, a federal lawsuit was filed against an American anti-gay extremist over persecution of gay people in Uganda.
The anti-gay activism in Uganda, stoked by evangelical Americans, does appear to be backfiring: Voice of America reports a strengthening and more visible LGBT community there.
Frank Mugisha, head of a Kampala-based NGO called Sexual Minorities Uganda, attributes some of this progress to continuing international pressure to recognize homosexual rights.
Lesbian rights activist Joanitah Abang says it has become easier for the homosexual community to participate in public events, such as a march several weeks ago in which several dozen gay activists walked the streets brandishing posters. She says that under the watchful eye of the international community, police are no longer likely to arrest them at public demonstrations.