Hitting dominionism where it hurts: Who to avoid
Part 1: Direct corporate promoters of dominionism
Chick-Fil-A has generally been one of the worst direct supporters of dominionism on the corporate level as well as via foundations. Examples I've been able to find include
Truett Cathy, the head of Chick-Fil-A, is also a major funder of dominionist agendas including National Bible Week (a dominionist campaign in which dominionist groups get state and national legislatures to pass resolutions declaring a week of bible study)--to give an example of just how long dominionist groups have been at work, the first National Bible Week was proclaimed by FDR in 1941. Cathy is one of the most well known promoters of Focus on the Family--a fact that FotF itself promotes on their web pages. Cathy himself also claims to use "Biblical principles" in running Chick-Fil-A and has promoted the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation--a group that uses sports personalities for stealth evangelism campaigns. Truett Cathy also operates a foundation for funding dominionist causes.
Amway (also dba Quixtar and Alticor)
Amway in and of itself, especially the "training sessions", has been noted as being a highly abusive and coercive group to the point that many exit counseling groups list Amway as a cult.
What is less well known is Amway has connections with the dominionist movement on at least two different levels.
The first level is that the founder of Amway is a direct corporate sponsor of the dominionist movement--the DeVos Foundation almost exclusively funds dominionist groups, and is a multi-billion-dollar corporate sponsor of dominionism that is largely funded from proceeds from a barely legal pyramid scheme. Another group that the DeVos foundation funds is the Coalition for National Policy--a highly secretive, invitation-only planning committee for dominionist causes that has been the focus of exposes first by the (now dead) Institute for First Amendment Studies and (more recently) People for the American Way. Theocracy Watch has some documentation on the CNP--suffice it to say that the CNP is the largest of, and possibly the most influential of, the three major think-tanks of dominionism (the two others being the Coalition on Revival and the Arlington Group). In fact, the links between DeVos and dominionism run so deep that I've made a specific post on it.
The second level is the close level of relationship between Amway itself and dominionists, especially within the Assemblies of God. Multiple politicians and political figures associated with the Assemblies, and in particular the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, are also Amway Diamond members (a fairly high ranking in the pyramid); these "Assemblies Diamonds" include John Ashcroft and Doug Wead. Amway itself is heavily promoted in Assemblies of God churches, especially by FGBMFI members, as a "Christian alternative" to secular companies; of note, dominionist Amway distributors may be the ultimate source of a persistent urban legend (stretching over thirty years at this point, if not longer) claiming that Proctor and Gamble's service mark is a Satanic symbol and that P&G are run by diabolists.
Hobby Lobby, much like AmWay and Chick-Fil-A, is not only a major funder of dominionism but also is promoted by dominionists and (like Chick-Fil-A) claims to run on "Biblical business principles". This includes playing of "Christian Contemporary" music, closing on Sunday...and per at least one unconfirmed report, refusing to hire non-dominionists (I have heard similar reports re Chick-Fil-A refusing to hire non-dominionists for managerial positions).
Curves is a chain of spas and gyms geared towards women. One would think Curves would be woman-friendly, but per several different articles--a a Salon Magazine article summing up the controversy, articles in the San Francisco Chronicle and Christianity Today, and finally on Operation Save America's own website, the owner of Curves funds multiple dominionist causes.
As noted, one of the more distinctly infamous groups funded is Operation Save America. This group is the successor group to Operation Rescue, is even more hardline than Operation Rescue was, and is hardline Christian Reconstructionist. Operation Save America is one of the groups that has targeted children for evangelism and often stakes out school systems for that explicit purpose.
Several of the other contributions by Curves' founder included donations to three separate "crisis pregnancy centers" run by dominionist groups. (These typically operate to appear to be women's clinics--including advertising in "abortion services" sections of the paper. Persons who visit them are given pregnancy tests but are not told the results until they view a dominionist-oriented, graphic video including dismembered stillborn fetuses; teenagers are often pressured to live in dominionist-operated "halfway houses" where they must agree in a contract to follow a dominionist lifestyle and must either raise the child in a dominionist fashion or give it up to a dominionist-operated adoption agency.)
This, like several cases (like with the Coors Foundation and multiple other groups) is a case where a founder friendly to dominionist causes either uses their own profits or sets up a foundation specifically to fund dominionist groups.
Part 2: Funders of dominionism primarily from foundations funded from profits of other companies
Coors, much like several other corporations, is best described as a "foundation funder" of dominionism--the owners, who are supporters of dominionist causes, have set up charitable foundations (using profits earned by their businesses) specifically to support dominionism.
In this case, this is via two separate foundations--the Coors Foundation and the Castle Rock Foundation. One of the groups funded by the Castle Rock Foundation is none other than the Coalition for National Policy (in fact, the Castle Rock Foundation and DeVos Foundation are the two major funders for the CNP and many, many other dominionist causes).
Mellon and Scaife Foundation companies, possibly including Alcoa Aluminum and several media firms
Three of the Scaife Foundations (there are four; the fourth is owned by a daughter who, ironically, funds largely progressive causes) are major funding sources for dominionist causes. The operator of most of the trust funds, Richard Scaife, is himself largely a trust-fund baby (the Scaifes held interest in a large number of companies, including at one time B. F. Goodrich).
Scaife is also an inheritor from the Mellon Foundations, also major funders of dominionist causes (in other words, he's a trust-fund baby twice over)
As both funds have been in business for almost 100 years (and fairly recently--since only about the sixties or so--turned towards funding of dominionism), plus the fact that many of the companies that earned the wealth of those foundations have been sold off, it's hard to determine what companies that were owned by Scaife are still sources of funding. (And Scaife has been a major bankroller for some time--both Scaife and the DeVos Foundation are largely responsible for bankrolling the hijacking of the Republican Party, starting in the early 70's.
Interestingly, Mellon Financial is not one of the major sources of funding--as the company has not been truly controlled by the Mellon family for at least fifty years. (Neither Richard Scaife nor his father ever had controlling interest in the company.)
Other companies that have been historically connected to the Scaifes and Mellons were Gulf Oil (now fully owned by British Petroleum) and Alcoa Aluminum--both of which were controlled by Scaife circa 1981.
There is considerable difficulty in determining even how much Richard Scaife is worth--estimates vary widely from 150 million to 1 billion to tens of billions
One definite source of funding is media--much of Scaife's present wealth not from the foundations is from weekly newspapers in many areas. Scaife may still own stock in Alcoa, and uranium mining has also been a source of income in past.
Walton companies, including Wal-Mart, Sam's Wholesale and Walton Foundation
This is another group whose funding of dominionist causes has been via foundations--and while they fund dominionist causes less than in past (and have occasionally stood up to dominionists--temporarily pulling out of KingdomBuy.com's racket and being firmly on the "Happy Holidays" side of the (bogus) "war on Christmas") they are still friendly towards dominionism on several levels and have been a major funder of dominionism in past.
Firstly, Wal-Mart's pandering to dominionism can be seen in the record and magazine sections--Wal-Mart has refused to carry Maxim, claiming it is "pornography", and also forces record companies to create not only bowdlerised records but bowdlerised album covers. (At least one metal band--Megadeth--refused to distribute its album through Wal-Mart rather than force the album cover to be "Walmart-ised".)
"Wal-mart versions" of records have been a problem for decades--not only for music fans but even second-hand music stores--with some albums, there is no way to tell other than by listening to determine if it's the "Wal-mart" version or the full version of an album.
As with most companies that fund dominionism, Wal-Mart has typically done it in the form of foundations--in this case, the Walton Foundation. While not as much of a founder as in past, the Walton Foundation has been a major funder of dominionist groups as recently as 2003, and in particular is a major funder of dominionist groups dedicated to destroying public education. In fact, most of its pro-dominionist funding nowadays goes to groups pushing voucher initiatives and dominionist correspondence school programs.
One special case of a company that is no longer a major funder of dominionist causes--but was when its founder still ran the company--is Domino's Pizza.
Domino's was founded by Tom Monaghan, who is a major funder of dominionist causes; among other things, he used the profits from Domino's to fund dominionist groups like Operation Rescue and Focus on the Family. Reportedly, Monaghan (via his foundation) has also funded the Word of God Fellowship, a group that is recognised as a coercive religious group by many experts.
Monaghan (even after having sold Domino's to a company that--ironically--also owns its major competitor, Little Caesar's Pizza) is still a major funder of dominionist causes, including the planned town of "Ave Maria" (which is designed to be a community where people buying in must sign a dominionist statement of faith before being allowed into the community association). Monaghan is also the major promoter of dominionism within the Catholic community; quite a few Catholics are openly critical of Monaghan. EDIT:
Some people have asked regarding my reasoning behind listing some of the groups as corporate sponsors of dominionism. I hope to explain a little bit more here so as to clear things up.
Part of the reason I was attempting to separate into different categories was that *some* of the funders of dominionism--mostly the Scaife and Walton foundations--also do fund other right-wing stuff.
The reason I mentioned the Curves article is that /dominionist groups themselves/ are using this to claim support--in other words, the fact that Operation Save America is using the claim in /their own promotional literature/ has heavier weight, so to speak, than just an anonymous report. (No offense, but the mere fact that a dominionist group is claiming support from a company *combined* with multiple reliable reports of support of dominionist groups is another.)
Supporting mere "pro-Life" groups is one thing, too; Operation Save America, for those unaware, is Randall Terry's group that has as its goal nothing less than the establishment of theocracy. Terry himself is connected with the Constitution Party (this gives you an idea just HOW dominionist he is); even pro-life Catholics and even some evangelicals will /not/ have anything to do with Terry or his groups.
This article gives an example of the kind of targeting of schools that Operation Save America does. The tactics are almost identical (save for the lack of butyric acid attacks and bombings) to tactics Randall Terry promoted in his last group Operation Rescue.
Terry would be considered a frank Christian Reconstructionist, hence /any/ possible association is worrisome.
The mere fact of promoting "crisis pregnancy centers" is worrying, too, because a great number of them are specifically set up to deceive women who may be seeking abortion services (I have no problem with *legitimate* groups that will help women who have decided to have the child and give it up for adoption--my problem is with the /deceptive tactics/ used by these groups). The setting up of "crisis pregnancy centers" by dominionist groups is such a common practice that *legitimate* women's clinics are offering warnings, and New York State Attorney-General Eliot Spitzer is actively investigating these groups for fraud which may lead to the shutdown of those groups in New York; at least one group has noted the health hazards inherent in "crisis pregnancy centers" run by dominionist groups.
This article details how dominionist-operated "crisis pregnancy centers" even discourage birth control, promoting many of the same canards about birth control promoted by dominionist groups pushing "moral refusal" clauses:
Telephone callers, on the other hand, may have no idea that they have reached a pro-life organization. When I phoned the Elyria Cornerstone with a scenario about unprotected sex, I was greeted only with “Cornerstone Pregnancy Services, how may I help you?” The telephone counselor provided inaccurate information about emergency contraception (EC), or the morning-after pill. Explaining how EC works, she said it can “inhibit the child from embedding in the uterine lining…it keeps it from providing nutrients or something.” Though unimpressed by her hesitant grasp of medical facts (EC can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg), I stayed in character. She did not recommend that I take it or tell me where I could get it, warning of blood clots, infertility, and cancer risk (none of which are mentioned in the FDA’s approval brief for EC, which has been prescribed off-label by doctors since the 1970’s.) When I pressed the counselor for concrete advice, she said that I had “a 50/50 chance” of being pregnant and that I should “just wait it out.” If I took the morning after pill, I could be sick “for a few days. Would that be worth it?”
Planned Parenthood's warning regarding "crisis pregnancy centers" (often set up as fake women's clinics) details typical tactics:
They falsely suggest or promise a full range of reproductive health services. They list themselves in the yellow pages of telephone directories under any or all of the following headings:
Regarding Scaife, I maintain he's a major funder of dominionist causes. One of the groups he has funded in past was the Conservative Caucus (the first dominionist group whose explicit goal was hijacking of the Republican Party); a major recipient has been Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation. (Weyrich is a founding member of the Conservative Caucus, along with Jerry Falwell, Howard Phillips, and several parties affiliated with the Assemblies of God (which has a 50-year-plus history of support of dominionism) and several of the architects of the hijacking of the Southern Baptist Convention.)
Scaife also has links with the Coalition for National Policy via Weyrich:
American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC): Established in 1973 by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation's Coalition for Constitutional Liberties, among others, ALEC's purpose is to reach out to state office holders. In the words of ALEC's former executive director, Sam Brunelli: "ALEC's goal is to ensure that these state legislators are so well informed, so well armed, that they can set the terms of the public policy debate, that they can change the agenda, that they can lead. This is the infrastructure that will reclaim the states for our movement."
ALEC was also one of the first groups, if not /the/ first group, to coordinate corporate funding of the dominionist movement; this article details more:
So what is ALEC and why are corporations its most ardent supporters? ALEC was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich -- considered by many as the granddaddy of the Religious Right. (He currently heads up a Washington, DC-based outfit called the Free Congress Foundation.) ALEC's website points out that it was organized to create "a bipartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty."
In fact, there is actually a watchdog site on the Internet--ALEC Watch.
Scaife is also apparently a major funder of efforts to split mainstream denominations:
As Presbyterians prepare to gather for their General Assembly in Richmond, Va., next month, a band of determined conservatives is advancing a plan to split the church along liberal and orthodox lines. Another divorce proposal shook the United Methodist convention in Pittsburgh earlier this month, while conservative Episcopalians have already broken away to form a dissident network of their own.
In other words, Scaife is directly financing a group whose primary goal is hijacking /other/ mainstream Christian churches in exactly the same manner that the Southern Baptist Convention was hijacked--of note, because many of the people Scaife funded in the Conservative Caucus back in the 70's were the very planners of the takeover of the SBC.
In fact, per multiple sources, the Scaife Foundation is the primary source of funding for Free Congress Foundation (to the tune of millions of dollars a year) and Scaife himself may be a board member of the FCF.
Scaife and the Coors Foundation are also at the center of other dominionist funding--the Heritage Foundation is yet another Weyrich-associated group that is actively funded by both the Coors and Scaife foundation groups.
How this relates to dominionism--the Free Congress Foundation also happens to be the group that literally wrote the manual on how dominionists can take over the US. (Interestingly, the Free Congress Foundation is also a dominionist-friendly group that has, like several others, known links to racists; per this article and several other sources, Weyrich had an honest-to-God Nazi collaborator as his right-hand assistant (specifically his advisor on Eastern European issues), and Weyrich himself has been documented as admiring Father Coughlin who was a radio preacher in the 30's who espoused antisemitic and even pro-Nazi views.)
Both the Coors and Scaife foundations are funders of another dominionist group, the Parent's Television Council. PTC is a branch of a group called the Media Research Council; the Parent's Television Council is also singlehandedly responsible for over /99.8 percent/ of all indecency complaints to the FCC, including complaints over Hardee's and Carl's Jr. advertisements (in fact, if Janet Jackson and "Boobgate" are removed, the PTC was responsible for very nearly /100 percent/ of complaints). PTC is also explicitly lobbying to have censorship extended to pay TV services such as cable TV and satellite; they are also almost singlehandedly responsible for Howard Stern having to go to satellite radio (hence why they are pushing for extending indecency standards to cable TV). Disturbingly, a person (Penny Nance) linked to multiple dominionist groups is now an assistant in public relations for the section of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau in charge of investigating indecency complaints--increasing the chances that PTC complaints will be heard favourably.
The Walton Foundation's funding of dominionism is more tenuous--after Sam Walton died they have not funded as many dominionist causes as in past. Their big thing is censorship (in store policies) and especially funding of school voucher initiatives.
As I've noted, post-Monaghan, Domino's Pizza seems to have its nose clean. Monaghan has still been a major funder of dominionist groups (largely connected to the pro-life movement, but as noted, he was a major funder of Randall Terry's groups--and as I've noted before, Terry at the time was considered "out there" even among mainstream sympathisers with the pro-life movement. It is my opinion that funding of /known dominionists who make no attempt to hide their dominionist sympathies/ does mark things as a bit worrying.
There are a few groups (notably the Olin Foundation) that I have not included as they seem to be mostly funders of conservative causes in general, and not funding of specific groups linked to the dominionist movement in particular.
Hitting dominionism where it hurts: Who to avoid | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Hitting dominionism where it hurts: Who to avoid | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)