Ron Luce's "stealth evangelism" guide exposed (part 2)
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Wed May 17, 2006 at 09:40:45 PM EST
This is a continuation of a recent diary entry in which I am conducting a review and expose of an early "bait and switch evangelism" manual produced by Ron Luce--of "BattleCry" groups of recent infamy, and Teen Mania Ministries of past infamy.

In this part, we jump through the rabbit hole and see just how far it goes, with a tactic-by-tactic expose of part 3 of the "RIOT Manual"--a book published in 1995 by Ron Luce, and distributed with an album by "Christian contemporary" artist Carman (who himself is a major promoter of "spiritual warfare" theology, and is also a popular artist in "dominion theology" churches).

I will advise the reader here that not only are the tactics described here typical in churches and groups that promote "bait and switch evangelism", but it also gives a rare view into the "private face" of dominionism.  And yes, this is actively promoted as "what the cool Christian kids are doing" in dominionist churches--and much of how groups like BattleCry work.

Part 3 is where we get into the real meat of things--"bait and switch" evangelism in action.   This section starts out laying things on thick:

Tactics of war are how actual strategy unfolds. This is where all the talk stops and the action begins. It is also where the fun begins. You are about to launch an invasion of the most holy kind. You are about to march into enemy territory and take it back.

 You will join the ranks of others who already have stepped out on the edge to do something for God - and in the process, changed their world. You will keep company with people like the apostle Paul who marched from town to town stirring things up for God. You will become like David, who knew his God was bigger than Goliath and did something about it!

 This tactics section of your R.I.O.T. Manual is NOT a suggestion list. These aren't just good ideas to read and forget. These are the steps you take to start your Righteous Invasion of Truth. This is an action plan, a smorgasbord of adventure! This is Indiana Jones, eat your heart out we're on an adventure for God!

  We'd like you to implement these tactics all the time, but put at least three or four into action each and every week.



Okay, first off they state that apparently not following the instructions in the book (some of which could get a kid suspended, as I'll note below) is Not Optional.  Already they're back with the whole "God Warrior" imagery (now you see where Perrin gets it!).

What are these "non-optional" suggestions that kids should do "at least three or four" of a week?  Let's see:

1. HIT LIST

A Hit List is the people you target for the Gospel. It's no good to reach "all those people out there somewhere". Go after specific ones. These are the ones you pray God will open their hearts to hear Him. Some people pray a halfhearted prayer and hope that their friends get saved. They might pray, "Dear Lord, please reach Joe." Wow, did you feel the anointing on that? No, and neither did God. God wants us to care enough about people to really pray for them. He wants us to care the same way He does.

Spend some time now puffing together your top ten Hit List of people with whom you want to share the Gospel: . . . Now commit to pray for each of them every day. As you pray, ask God what you can say or do to creatively reach them. Listen carefully as you talk with them. You will be amazed at the opportunities God gives you this week to talk about Him.



Yes, the first suggestion is to compile a literal hit list of potential targets for harassment to the point of conversion. Charming, no?

Doing such a thing in most public school systems is liable to get a kid suspended and referred to an "alternative school" at best; many school systems even in 1995 would expel students known to be compiling "hit lists" for any reason.  We won't even talk about how they're essentially teaching kids to stalk targets and arrange for mass harassment--much the same way poor women who go to a "women's clinic" for contraception or prenatal well-baby care are often viciously harassed by dominionist "pro-life" groups who think she's had an abortion.  (In the modern versions, they probably even arrange for "flash mobs" and harassment via Internet, too.)

The next lesson is on the blatant misuse of apologetics (no, I'm not making this up) and the use of strawman fallacies to promote creationism:

2. EVIDENCE DEMANDS A VERDIC

tTheologians (people who study God for a living) have a fancy term for this tactic. They call it apologetics. That doesn't mean you're apologizing for believing in God. Apologetics is an explanation of why your beliefs are valid.

Use the Evidence Demands a Verdict tactic when people argue with you about the existence of God. Help them see how small their perspective of God is by asking:

"How many books have you read from cover to cover?"

The answer probably will be "just a few."

Then say, "How many books do you think we have in our library?"

"Probably 10,000."

So you say, "Okay. Now, how many libraries do you think there are in town?"

"Twenty-five libraries."

"How many books do you think are in all of those libraries?"

"Maybe 500,000."

"How many libraries do you think there are in the country? And how many books do you think are in all those libraries?"

"Maybe ten million."

"So what you're telling me is that you've read three or four books from cover to cover out of the ten million books that are available. That's how much you know of what there is to be known about scientific facts. That's like saying that you have looked at one piece of sand out of a whole beach full of sand. And because you know what that one piece of sand looks like, you're making a judgment that you know there's no God. If you don't know much about what's already known and written, how can you say with confidence that you know about what's not written? Based on the small amount of information that you have, how can you make a judgment that there cannot possibly be a God who made the whole world?"



Firstly, apologetics is far more rigorous (well, outside of the "Bible colleges" used by dominionists, anyways) in mainstream Christianity--to study apologetics takes years and often decades of serious study and work.  The "doctorate of divinity" given at mainstream Christian seminaries requires a lot of hard work and is well earned.

It's almost insulting they mention apologetics, as entire apologetics sites exist detailing the extensive flaws in dominionism from an apologetics standpoint. (To add insult to irony, at least one of these sites--"Deception In The Church"--has some of the best info on the Internet regarding the history of dominion theology in specific reference to fighting it on an apologetics level.)

Also, the argument they're using is almost identical to arguments used in "intelligent design" promotion and teaching of frank creationism; in fact, talkorigins.org has detailed nearly every argument of this type attacking the basis of the scientific method and given specific rebuttals.

Tactic 3 begins what is an extensive portion of the book which uses parallels to the actual arrest, conviction and imprisonment of a criminal:

3. READ THEM THEIR RIGHTS

A police officer reads people their rights to tell them what they are entitled to under the law. When you use the Read Them Their Rights tactic, you tell people what they are entitled to under God's law of grace.

The gospel is good news, so let's tell people about it. For example:

   * God wants to bless us. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33).    * God will give us wisdom when we need it. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (Jas. 1:5).    * God will forgive us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).    * God wants to make us new people. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

The good news is that all people have a right to be free from sin, and to get rid of the garbage the devil has put in their lives. Jesus died so we could be set free, and everyone has a right to know it.



Absolutely charming, no?  Certainly enlightening (with this and the entire "throw the b*stards in jail" metaphor the section uses) in regards to how dominionists think of the rest of us at any rate. (Incidentially, the Miranda warning they refer to is formal notification that someone is under arrest--not free to leave--and that they have the right to remain silent (thus not incriminating themselves) and that they have the right to legal counsel.)

Note the use of scripture-twisting.  At least one of these verses (Matthew 6:33) has been very commonly used by "name it and claim it" and "prosperity gospel" hawkers to claim biblical authority for promoting God as a glorified pyramid scheme.

The imagery goes downhill from here:

4. BOOK 'EM

The Book 'Em tactic helps you tactfully share Scripture with others and clearly relate it to their lives. Choose a verse to meditate on during your quiet time in the morning. Then chew on it all day long until it comes alive to you. If you chew on it long enough, the Word of God eventually will explode inside you because it is living and active!

This is when the fun comes in. Start looking for the person God wants you to share that verse with. He has someone waiting that day to hear the Word He put in your heart. Be careful not to dump it on the first person you see. Instead, pray until you find the person God has prepared, then BOOM!

Book 'em! Hit him with the Word in a way that blesses and builds him up. With this tactic, you give a person the right word for the right hour, convincing him that God is real and that He cares for him.



Yup, you read that right--they're advocating Random Bible Verse Bombing of random strangers picked because the dominionist "felt" they were the target.

The use of criminal indictment imagery continues:

5. WITNESS STAND

The Witness Stand tactic is similar to the weapon of sharing your testimony. A witness stand is where a person is sworn to tell the truth. Use this tactic to share the story of how God changed your life (See "My Testimony," p. 55.)

When you use this tactic, picture yourself on a witness stand before a judge. The person you're testifying before or witnessing to is the jury. Let everything you say about your self be so believable and powerful that a jury would vote in your favor and say, "Yes, we believe what you say is true." Present yourself so that no one can argue about what God has done in your life. They may respond with philosophy or their opinions but they can't change what you know God has done in your heart.

Be sure to update your testimony regularly so that you're telling not only how you were saved but what God has done recently. During your quiet time, think about what God has done that week so you are always ready to share it (see 1 Peter 3:15).



(Oh, joinks!  Not philosophy!)

Yes, they're advising kids to do roughly the same thing televangelists do, or people who got thrown in prison and became "born again" and are now riding dominionist travel circuits (Ollie North, Chuck Colson, I'm looking at you) do...have a very specific script of how they were a horrible person and then "I saw the light".  Conversion stories of people who engaged in the most horrific debaucheries imaginable, then became "saved" and are now circuit-stumping fire-and-brimstone preachers, are such a regular on the Assemblies traveling-pastor circuits as to be practically a parody of themselves; more often than not, the stories of debauchery are often "embroidered" at best and often outright false (note the case of Mike Warnke, who claimed to have been a "Satanic high priest" (and had made some fairly outrageous claims--for example, claiming he had sacrificed babies to Satan and whatnot) until he converted and became a "Christian Comedian"--when an evangelical Christian magazine actually did some research, it turned out Warnke was making the whole thing up).

Suggestion 6 is actually an advert for Carman Ministries.  (Yeah, real subtle there, folks.)

Suggestion 7 suggests people set up a miniature version of a "Hell House":

7. PDA (PUBLIC DISPLAY OF ANOINTING)

The PDA tactic can be a blast. The idea is to publicly display the gospel in a way that draws an incredible amount of attention and interest. Once a week plan a major activity for your R.I.O.T. Squad in front of your school before school starts. As students and teachers walk by, they stop and watch because you capture their attention.

Try holding a mock funeral - with a casket even! - in front of your school. Use music and a whole funeral service. In the middle of it, someone jumps out of the casket and tells the crowd, "I'm alive, like Jesus is alive today."

With your R.I.O.T. Squad, brainstorm other things you can do to act out the gospel. You might build a person-sized Bible that opens up to reveal someone dressed to look like Jesus, who says, "The Word became flesh." Or come dressed like you're going to a toga party and use your clothes to get people's attention while you talk about God. You could hold signs and act like you're picketing. Do whatever will get people's attention. Teens will look forward to the PDA if it is creative and fun. Even though they aren't yet believers, they will appreciate a skit that is atten tion-getting and thought-provoking.



No, the allusion I made to a "hell house" isn't accidential.  An Assemblies-based pastor invented the concept of a dominionist haunted-house which is advertised as a standard haunted-house attraction (which is, of note, not explicitly promoted as linked to the church) then--once people have paid their money and the doors are locked--they are taken through very graphic depictions of how people had died and gone to hell because of various perceived sins.  At the end, hard-sell altar calls are done to get people to convert after they've been literally "scared straight".  (The pastor now sells "hell house" kits to other churches within the pente and neopente movements.)  A similar campaign, "Judgement Houses", are promoted within the Southern Baptist and "independent Baptist" communities  as well.

Needless to say, these are controversial, none the least because they are designed as a classic form of bait-and-switch.

This is a smaller version of the same thing, and in fact, in the comments in the original the "hell house" concept is even more explicit.

Suggestion 8 and 9 advocate "love-bombing" persons who are depressed or otherwise having negative life circumstances, including even suggesting they stalk those individuals if necessary:

8. RESCUE 911

The Rescue 911 tactic is watching for people who are crying out for help. There are people all around us who are hurting, but we don't always recognize their cries. Some kids feel no one cares about them - not God, not their parents, not anyone. Some even think about ending their lives.

You can tell if people are hurting by observing their behavior or listening to what they say. If they always put themselves down, are depressed or never smile, they may need help.

The problem is, we often don't know what to say to them. We try, "Have a nice day," or maybe, "I'll think good thoughts for you," or even, "I'll pray for you." But these folks need more. Be ready at all times to give answers to hurting people. Help them understand that Jesus is the answer to their prayers, the One who can fill their emptiness and put their lives back together.

Rescue 911 may mean you cry with people or pray with them. Some of your own friends may feel their lives are like eggshells that could crack at any moment. Go to them with the compassion of Christ, put your arms around them and pray with them. Let them know that when they give their hearts to Jesus, they will have His arms around them all the time.

9. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Families can experience difficulty between husband and wife or between parents and children. When things grow violent police are called to homes to stop domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence tactic identifies people who are having intense family struggles, then defuses the situation using the gospel. There are young people all around you whose families are falling apart. Their parents are divorced or are going through a divorce. Maybe the parents are together but the kid doesn't feel close to them. Whatever the specifics, they're having a tough time at home.

When you touch on family issues, you will see people's hearts melt. They begin to break down because they realize they don't have all the answers.

Look for clues in the way people talk about their families. Pay attention to how they treat each other at home. When they talk to their parents on the phone, listen to their tone of voice. Pick up on the clues they give and use them to help you lead hurting people to Jesus.

Use Scriptures like these whenever appropriate:

     [God is] a father to the fatherless. (Ps. 68:5)      He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. (Mal. 4:6)

Because so many people are hurting over family problems, Domestic Violence could be one of the most effective tactics in this manual. God made the family and He will put it back together if we let Him.



Notably, quite a number of other groups target people when they're down like this--groups like the Moonies and other spiritually abusive groups.  (In fact, it's actually a tactic in most spiritually abusive groups to specifically target people in difficult life circumstances as they tend to be less resistant to coercive tactics and they are easier to recruit.)  In fact, experts in researching spiritually abusive groups term the technique described here "love-bombing", and its use has been documented especially in "Bible-based" coercive religious groups.  It's a very common way in which the Assemblies of God in particular recruits members.

No consideration is given, notably, to the real possibility that domestic violence issues or depression may be occuring because of a dominionist group.

Suggestion 10 is yet another advertisement for R.I.O.T. and Carman Ministries stuff.  (So much for the church being apart from the world, eh?)

With Suggestion 11, we're back to the criminal prosecution suggestions.  Here, it's recommended formally to get to know someone to get to know their weak points (and the best chance to prosyletise to them) and advocates getting to know folks for that sole purpose:

11. INTERROGATION

The Interrogation tactic helps you discover valuable things about a person by asking him questions. Find out all you can about him before you try to get into his heart. Become a learner. Learn who he is, where he is from, what he's like,what's important to him, how he spends his time. How's his relationship with his mom or dad? What about brothers and sisters? What are his ambitions, goals and dreams? What is he afraid of? Of course, don't ask all of these questions at once. Just begin to probe and discover as much as you can about him.

People often act as if they have their life together without God. But the truth is that nobody is together without God. Ask questions to find where they are not together. Be tactful as you use the Interrogation tactic. Show a genuine interest in people, so they'll know you care about them and want to bring them to Jesus.



Yes, they're suggesting you establish friendships with people for the sole purpose of converting them to dominionism.  (And people wonder why walkaways from some of the more spiritually abusive dominionist groups have such severe issues with trust of, well, anyone.

Chapter 12 continues both the criminal prosecution titles and the push to prosyletise, prosyletise, prosyletise at all costs (including the cost of losing pretty much all friends who avoid you now):

12. CROSS EXAMINATION

Although similar to Interrogation, the Cross Examination tactic asks questions that lead people to the cross. Hence the term, Cross Examination. Use the following questions to help a friend think seriously about the Lord:      

    1. What do you think about God? Who is He? What

    is He like?      

    2. How do you think someone can get close to God?      

    3. What do you think a real Christian is? What's            

    your definition of a real Christian?      

    4. Do you mind if I tell you the Bible's            

    definition of a real Christian?

If you ask those questions and she says, "No, I don't mind," share the gospel very simply. Begin by telling her what the Bible says:

"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Then tell her God wants to give her a new heart and life and to for give her sin and make her a new person. You can say things like,

     Becoming a Christian doesn't happen because you are born into a Christian nation or your parents are Christians. You make a decision to give your life to the Lord, and you're never the same again.

Give a brief (two-to-three minute) description of what it means to give your life to the Lord. Talk especially about the miracle that happens, how God totally changes you on the inside. Then ask this question:

    5. Is there anything keeping you from giving your life            

    to Jesus?

If she says no, then the sixth question you ask is:

    6. Would you like to pray right now and give your            

    heart to the Lord?

Your questions lead her to the cross so she can give her life to the Lord. Then, get her into church and youth group so that others can help her grow spiritually.



And thus we see the eventual goal of the love-bombing in suggestions 8 and 9 and establishing fake friendships with people in suggestion 11: to spring the trap and begin a hard-sell for them to convert, and get more warm bodies into the local dominionist church.

This is, sadly, surprisingly effective.

Suggestion 13 not only is handy for dominionist groups like the Alliance Defense Fund to have lots of fodder for lawsuits against public schools (when they crack down on idiocy such as is promoted) but for the parents of the young "God Warriors" when they get an F on their English paper for the following stunt:

13. CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

Implement the Captive Audience tactic whenever you give a speech or presentation or write a paper for class. Don't let a chance like that go by without talking about the Lord. It takes courage and guts and needs to be done creatively. You don't have to share a sermon, just weave God into whatever your topic is. You have a captive audience; they can't go anywhere. They have to listen to you, so give them some thing worth listening to and remembering.

This is how I (Ron) handled it one time. I had to give a speech in class on the military draft. For the first minute or so, I discussed the draft and what it was. Then I talked about how God doesn't draft people into heaven. He has an army, but it is made up of volunteers. He doesn't force you to go to heaven. You've got to join; He'll never draft you. It's up to you.

Don't be afraid to write about Jesus in your class papers. You can witness to your teacher, and practice articulating what you believe.



Something tells me that mentioning Jesus in one's trigonometry proof is not going to go well.

Let's see, how can we list the consequences of this:

a) Students no longer allowed to give speeches at all without prior review of school b) Students of different faiths suing the school system for what is, in fact, enforced prosyletisation c) the young God Warrior potentially being suspended or given a bad grade, thus resulting in God Warrior Jr.'s parents Mr. and Mrs. God Warrior suing the school system and bringing in the Alliance Defense Fund claiming they're "persecuting Christians" because God Warrior Jr. inserted an altar call in a paper on the Peloponesian War d) Public speaking in general being discouraged (already happening in public schools) e) A major "creation of hostile environment" lawsuit against the kid, the school system, and the teacher for God Warrior Jr's speech

Needless to say, at best God Warrior Jr. can expect never to be allowed to give a public speech for the rest of his school career if he tries this in most places.  (In the places where this would fly, let's just say that Americans United, PFAW and the ACLU are working to stamp out this sillybuggers--as is Talk2Action.)

Suggestion 14 may well, in the modern mall environment which generally prohibits solicitation in general, set the world's fastest record for a mess of dominionist kids being thrown out of a mall:

14. MALL BLITZ

With the Mall Blitz tactic, your R.I.O.T. Squad infiltrates a shopping mall. Be careful with this one - some security guards may see this as harassing the customers. In a Mall Blitz, you arm yourself with tracts, then march through the mall handing them out and going crazy letting people know that Jesus loves them.

This has been tried with more than a thousand kids at a time in one mall. Although you probably won't have that many people, go in with the idea of completely canvassing the mall. Leave tracts with every person and in every place you can. For example, go into bookstores and place them inside books, so when people buy a book they also get a tract. Put tracts in the hands of mannequins and in pockets of pants. It's exciting to think you can massively impact a number of people with a message from the Lord, helping them become God-conscious and leading them closer to making a decision for Jesus.



The mall cops would be right in this case--if the mall has a general "no soliciting" policy, they can generally throw you out and even ban you from the mall; as it is, the behaviour promoted is in fact so disruptive that a lot of private mall owners would likely throw the kids out for being a general disruption.  We also will not talk about what stores would likely do in regards to seeing a mess of kids deliberately messing about with the store merchandise (putting tracts in mannequin's pockets, for example, is VERY likely to have the Wrath of Mall Cop and a permanent ban from the mall follow shortly).

This is one of those tactics that, in municipally run mall spaces, could even potentially get a kid arrested.

Step 15 encourages the mass rental of pagers and handing out of flyers--as a sort of "dial-a-prayer" line.  (Not likely to be effective, and likely even at that time to have gotten kids suspended--even as far back as 1988, the public school I attended had a district wide policy of prohibiting the possession of pagers by any student who was not part of an Explorers police or EMS post or part of a fire and rescue cadet program.  Some schools have expanded this to cell phone usage, in part because of the use of pagers in drug deals and the general disruption of cell phones.)  One expects that the modern version promotes the use of frank net.abuse like spamming and SMS spamming as well.

Suggestion 16 is--at best--likely to have all the students involved having very long discussions with their guidance counselors, and could even lead to criminal prosecution now for frank stalking and harassment:

6. STING OPERATION

In a Sting Operation your R.I.O.T. Squad con spires to minister to a specific person. You watch where that person hangs out and what he is into. You pray together for that person and get creative about how you will get the gospel to him.

Think about how to approach him with the Word in different places at different times of the day. You put a tract in his locker; your friend puts one on his car. You invite him to a Christian event, and then your R.I.O.T. Squad friends all invite him to the same event at different times during the day. In other words, gang up on him. Let a series of polite initiatives let him know that you are praying for him and that God loves him. The person may not even realize that you are working together. You all work on his heart until you know it is softened and he's ready to receive the Lord. This could take longer than other tactics, but in the end you will win by demonstrating that you love and respect him.



Yes, you're reading that right.  They suggest having a literal mob of people target one specific person to harass to the point of conversion.

At best, this is very likely to lead to a formal complaint to school authorities if the person finds the efforts unwelcome or threatening. Increasingly, stunts like this have lead to actual lawsuits and court orders preventing contact with the person targeted; many schools have "zero tolerance" policies on harassment this would fall under as well (which would mean that the offenders would be expelled or sent to an alternative school).  The efforts here also fall very close to the legal definition of harassment, and in fact people have successfully sued and won against dominionists who've used these types of tactics. In some states, this would even fall under the legal definition of stalking.

Yes, they're actually proposing potentially committing a felony offense for purposes of harassing individual targets into converting.

Suggestion 17 suggests, in very similar fashion to suggestions 8-9, establishing fake friendships between people of different races and cultures for the sole purpose of prosyletising to them.

Suggestion 18 is actively training kids to practice sheep-stealing:

18. BEHIND ENEMY LINES

This tactic is sure to get your adventurous side charged up! It will take you right where the lost are. The Bible says our enemy is the devil; Behind Enemy Lines is a tactic to infiltrate people who follow him.

In most towns you'll find Mormon or Jehovah's Witnesses churches. There are other cults represented in almost every city in America. Find tracts that address the cult's perspective of life from a Biblical viewpoint, then go Behind Enemy Lines - into their church buildings. When the building is open, go in and pray and bind the devil. Then, discreetly insert tracts into books in their pews. When they have their next service, those who see the tracts will get a surprise that could give them a new life!


I should note, as an aside, that practically all non-dominionist churches are considered "cults" by dominionists.  "Sheep-stealing" is a tactic that is considered highly unethical by practically all mainstream Christian denominations, is often considered a tell-tale warning sign of a "Bible-based cult" in and of itself by experts in spiritual abuse, and is actively encouraged in some dominionist groups (particularly the Assemblies and other pente and neopente groups highly influenced by "spiritual warfare" theology).  Catholicism is often considered a cult by these groups too, as are Episcopalians.

Suggestion 19 is a familiar standby in dominionist circles, and in fact, with spiritually abusive groups in general (the Scientologists especially love this one)--target a celebrity, convert them, and they'll do your advertisement for you:

19. POINT MAN

A point man is "one who is in the forefront" or "a soldier who goes ahead of a patrol." The Point Man tactic goes after the person others look to for leadership at school or work. You know, the few who naturally influence others around them. These people are either natural leaders or have become popular because of their talents and abilities.

The strategy is this: Your R.I.O.T. Squad targets a point man others look up to. Once you have successfully reached him, he can then influence a lot of others with the gospel. This person may be harder to reach because of all the supposed "success" he has on the outside. The fact is, though, every person without Jesus is empty on the inside. If you get to know enough about your point man you probably will find he is empty, too. When you dis cover that, then you will have a door into his heart.

This point man is no more important than all the people he influences. You are not going after the point man because God loves him more, but because God loves all the people he can help influence. Check your motives: be sure you target your point man because you have a genuine love for him from the Lord, not because you want to be the one known for reaching the big cheese. As you keep your motives right, you could reach a lot of people by reaching one point man!



Again, this is a very old and very common tactic--the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International has used a variant of this tactic for at least sixty years, and the FGBMFI's own parent Assemblies of God was using it as early as the 20's-30's in converting baseball celebrities to dominionism.  (In a non-dominionist context, the Scientologists have also done this with Hollywood celebrities.) Dominionists even have entire groups of friendly sports celebrities who have held altar-calls in public schools disguised as "anti-drug talks", so they are well aware of how a celebrity friend can help out.  (It's gotten them, at this point, control of very nearly the entire United States government.)

The sidenotes are also interesting here as they describe their parent church setting up a gym as a front for "bait and switch evangelism".

Suggestion 20 is another of those "very likely to get you arrested" tactics, as it involves the literal faking of someone choking to death (in a scene reminiscent of bad dominionist "scared straight" theatre--more on that later) as a chance to prosyletise:

The purpose of street drama is to invite people into your world. They stop and watch you because they want to see what you're about. During those moments when you have their attention, you can make your time count.

Street drama doesn't have to be complicated. It could be as simple as one of your R.I.O.T. Squad members falling on the ground pretending to be choking. You fall down beside her and ask, "Does anyone know CPR?" Another R.I.O.T. Squad member runs up while everyone is gathering around. When you have everyone's attention say,

This is what most of the world is doing. They're choking, but they don't even know it. They're dying on the inside and feel totally empty. They need someone to give them CPR. And that is exactly what Jesus did. He came to give us a new heart and new life. We want you to know that if you feel like you're choking today, God loves you and so do we, and we want to tell you more about Him.

A skit like that can draw people to the Lord and get them thinking about eternal issues. Make one up yourself, or use prepared skits. Don't be afraid to try a complicated, well-choreographed drama with costumes and makeup. Impact Productions and Teen Mania Ministries (see Resources p.148)



The last I checked:

a) you do not treat choking by CPR but by use of the Heimlich maneuver (please, whatever gods there are out there, if I am ever misfortunate enough to be in the food court and end up choking on a piece of bourbon chicken from the Chinese take-out kiosk, do not let one of these people try to render aid by performing CPR) b) increasingly, falsely causing EMT personnel to be called can be considered legally on the same level as a false fire alarm (among other things, if done in a school or in a mall, this could result in people calling real life emergency personnel to help) c) increasingly, this could be potentially fatal to the student in question faking choking (quite a number of malls and even some schools have portable defribulator units for use in case someone has a heart attack, and personnel trained in their use; at best, a trained first responder may try actually performing the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, resulting in cracked ribs)

Note the promo for Teen Mania again.

Suggestion 21 gives the bright idea of kids faking a video documentary for the purpose of prosyletisation:

Here is another unique tactic for getting into people's hearts. Take your R.I.O.T. Squad out with a video camera and do interviews at the mall, at school, at a ball game or at a local hangout. Walk up to a group of people and tell them you're making a video program. You aren't lying - just don't say it's going to be on T.V. Ask them if you can videotape them. Most people will agree.

Have one person hold the video camera and the other person interview. Ask them the questions we discussed in Cross Examination, p. 85.

Then take two to three minutes and share the gospel with them. Putting it in a nutshell, tell them how God wants to for give them and change them from the inside out. While you are still taping, ask them if they think that would be a good thing for a person to do. Watch their responses. If they say yes, ask them if they want to do it right now. You can pray right there and God absolutely will change their hearts and lives. You'll be amazed at how many people will pray with you with the videotape rolling and miracles happening before your eyes. When you are done, invite them to come to your youth group.

Take the videotape back to your youth group and show them what God is doing. It is a unique way to get the gospel out and have a great recording for later. It is amazing how the video camera can get people to answer questions and say things they may never have said if you approached them in conversation. It gives you an excuse to talk to people you don't know, because you are "making a video program."



No, it's not technically "lying", but it is deceptive.  Also, it's one of those things squarely in the category of "likely to get one sued", as generally there are strict legal requirements for the likeness of people being used for advertising (like, oh, say, getting formal written consent from the person in question).  I know if I'd had my likeness used in that manner, I'd be suing for every red cent and then some.

In another entry in the "Let's Get The Whole Damn School System Sued" category (and  yet more fun with criminal prosecution imagery), they also promote abuse of the school announcement system in Suggestion 22:

22. APB (ALL POINTS BULLETIN)

Police use an APB to get out an announcement to anyone with a police radio. You can use the APB tactic to get out the message of the gospel in a massive way to your whole school. Most schools have written or spoken announcements on a regular basis. An APB enables you to spread the news that your R.I.O.T. Squad is alive and that God is doing some thing in your hearts. If it is against the rules at your school to mention Jesus or God, simply release an APB about all of the R.I.O.T. Squad meetings and activities.

There are other ways you can use an APB to let people know that God is alive and loves them. Tag your R.I.O.T. announcements with something like this:

   * When you feel no one cares, God does.

   * When you come to the end of your rope, there is Someone to

   catch you.    

   * When exams get tough, it's good to know Someone's there to help.

Start your APB with "Another Announcement from your R.I.O.T. Squad...," so they know it's coming from you and they know the meaning of the phrases. The point is to continually have them hear or see something about the Lord so they get the idea God loves them and is after them.



Uhm...unless the school system is in a highly dominionist portion of the country, there is roughly about as much chance of the school allowing such an announcement as, say, Mephistopheles has of buying the New Jersey Devils and starting the first infernal NHL franchise in the City of Dis in downtown Hell.

The reason this is incredibly unlikely is that school systems have been sued for this--it's been ruled that, among other things, a student giving prayers across a school PA system is considered state sanction of religion, which is illegal.  (Bible clubs can meet as long as teachers aren't organising it.  Use of the PA system requires participation by the school.)

If a school DID allow it, anymore they'd be hit with a lawsuit, and deservedly so.

Suggestion 23 is a redux of all the John 3:16 banners you always see at practically every sporting event known to man, likely including the infield at the Kentucky Derby (and what a wonderful den of scum, villany and flagrant alcohol abuse, gambling and the occasional streaker trying to climb the flagpole that the Kentucky Derby infield is).

Suggestion 24 is traditional tract-handling in skater drag.

Suggestion 25 is another that is likely to get people permabanned from an event (and also yet another abuse of police imagery):

25. S.W.A.T. TEAM

The S.W.A.T. Team tactic works much like a special police force called in to attack a situation. S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons And Tactics Team or a Special Weapons Attack Team. Your R.I.O.T. Squad can become a S.W.A.T. Team and take over a spiritual situation.

Here is how this tactic works: Find out what events are happening in your area and choose one for your R.I.O.T. Squad to attend. Prepare for the event by assigning every person an area to cover. You'll need everyone if you are to have full coverage of the event. When you arrive at the event, infiltrate the place. Everybody takes his or her position so that no one gets away without seeing or hearing the gospel.

Choose events your R.I.O.T. Squad can cover, so that not one person will leave without hearing about the Lord. The S.W.A.T. Team tactic is adventurous and exciting, so have a blast as you target places in your world with the gospel.


Yes, and when your group is explicitly banned from school-sponsored events as a result, you can go crying to the Alliance Defense Fund at that time.  (Not to mention if your school decides to start abandoning allowing student-run clubs because you decided to harass the members of the local Gay-Straight Alliance or because you tried to canvass the entire senior prom with pamphlets.)

Suggestion 26 is not only another case where love-bombing is actively encouraged as well as frank harassment of "at risk youth", but where bad police imagery is abused:

26. HIGH-SPEED CHASE

Police embark on a high-speed chase when somebody needs to be caught immediately. Perhaps a person is driving drunk or has just committed a crime. In any case, they need to be apprehended now.

This is exactly what happens when you use the High-speed Chase tactic with your R.I.O.T. Squad. You see some body at school or work who is in big trouble. She is not her normal self. You can tell by the way she talks and acts that she's hurting. Maybe her grades are messed up. Maybe she hasn't been coming to class or youth group like she used to. You've heard she's been doing drugs and that they are now messing up her life. There is a big-time reason to go after her, so implement the High-speed Chase.

Start by bombarding her with prayer from your R.I.O.T. Squad. You could even start a 24-hour prayer chain with your church so someone is constantly praying for her. Focus on

chasing that person down and giving her the gospel. Begin to hang out with her and go places with her. Sit next to her in class and start conversations. Ask all the other R.I.O.T. Squad members to do the same. Relentlessly pursue this person until you know you've got a good dose of the gospel in her. Don't give up until she has responded positively to it. Don't gun her down; open up your heart and care about what she's going through.

As you walk through your school or your workplace, the Holy Spirit may put somebody on your heart whom you can't forget. Pray for that person with your R.I.O.T. Squad. Then go after her. Give everything you've got to reach her for the Lord. Don't stop until she's heard that Jesus can help her out of the time of trouble. This is a high-speed chase of a holy kind. And there are people around you right now who desperately need it.


Again, this can legally be considered harassment, and even potentially stalking; if the person is "at risk" because of suffering religiously motivated abuse (not impossible; in fact, I was severely depressed as a teenager specifically due to religiously motivated abuse) this can even potentially drive someone over the brink to suicide.

This is also a tactic that is commonly used--and is explictly advocated in the guide--to specifically stop people who are having doubts about a spiritually abusive group from leaving.  The specific types of techniques noted (parodied in the movie "Saved!") have even led to churches literally being sued by persons leaving--and in the walkaways winning lawsuits for unlawful imprisonment and harassment.

Suggestion 27 is another entry in the "People will go ice skating in Hell first"/"Opening Up Your Public School For A First Amendment Lawsuit In Three Easy Steps" contest:

27. R.I.O.T. MOVIE

The R.I.O.T. Movie tactic could influence your whole school. This is how it works: Find an auditorium at school you can use, perhaps after school or during lunch. Then rent a movie with a strong evangelical message. There are a number of movies out that help kids know more about the Lord. Some suggestions are Mars Hill Productions' Without Reservation, any Billy Graham movie, China Cry, and others. Check with Gospel Films (see Resources, p. 144) for rental information. Be sure you watch the film beforehand to make sure it is just the right one.

When you have the right movie, set up a time to show it at school. Put up posters and fliers, make an announcement and invite everyone to come. Serve free popcorn and try to get somebody to donate soft drinks. A good time would be during lunch; just make sure the lunch period is long enough to show the movie you have. You don't want people walking out during the good part, and you don't want to encourage anyone to skip classes.

Give enough advance notice so that people can plan ahead for the showing. Make sure you have a large screen, not a T.V. monitor. Show the film on a video projector so people get a real movie vibe. Be ready for someone to bring in the net or give a short altar call right after the movie is over.


To quote an anonymous humorist--this is going to go over like a lead balloon.

Firstly, unless this is done by means of explicit deception most public school systems are NOT going to allow religious films like this to be shown.  (There is perfectly good reason for this--it opens them up to lawsuits because of illegal promotion of one religion over others.)  

As it is, dominionist groups that specialise in "bait and switch" evangelism targeting public schools and disguised as "anti-drug" groups--like Seven Project, Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and so on--very rarely if ever explicitly note their connections to dominionist groups and generally never, ever reveal the fact they are planning to hold what is essentially a pentecostal tent-revival in the school auditorium--because school systems would not, and could not, legally permit such a thing.  (In fact, school systems have already been sued over the Seven Project's prosyletisation of this exact sort, and many school systems have been sued over similar stunts by Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (in fact, multiple ACLU state groups have sued FCA, and the ACLU of Alabama's formation was founded in part because of such stunts), Power Team, and others.

Lest people doubt that these are explicitly religious films, let's take a look at just one of the movie producers mentioned, Mars Hill Productions.

Mars Hill's specialty is "scared saved" films--basically the video equivalent of "hell houses" that are shown in Assemblies youth-groups and church meetings nationwide in order to--quite literally--scare the hell out of kids.  The notes at christianfilms.com regarding the movie is telling:

Six teenagers leave a party and get in an automobile accident. Four of them die and are suspended in space between heaven and hell. Where will they spend eternity? This film packs a powerful punch and brings forth the reality that eternity is coming. Is your reservation in heaven confirmed? This movie is a wake up call to any viewer!


At least one other promoter of "scared saved" films sells all three of the Mars Hill movies as a trilogy, advising parents not to let children see the third lest they have a negative image of parents.  At least one dominionist website even has streaming video of the movies in question.

China Cry is also a cult-classic of the dominionist community, largely because the subject of the movie is involving a Chinese Christian woman tortured in a Red Chinese labour camp; its major promotion is still in dominionist movie circles.

Gospel Films is another major promoter of "scared saved" movies (among other "Christian" titles including the first "Christian children's show", Davey and Goliath) and--interestingly--is directly funded by the DeVos Foundation (DeVos, of course, being the founder of AmWay which itself is dominionist and is used as a dominionist recruiting front to boot); reportedly, Gospel Films has a large number of links to AmWay and specifically to the "Yager downline" of Diamonds.  (Of particular note, the Yager downline is especially connected to the promotion of both "name it and claim it" and dominion theology proper within AmWay; in fact, the writer of Merchants of Deception (available both in PDF and in HTML format) is an escapee from the Yager downline, has thoroughly documented the promotion of dominion theology in that downline, and has a specific case study of Yager available.)  The connections don't stop with Yager, either; reportedly Richard DeVos himself has served as chairman of the board for Gospel Films.  Gospel Films' directors have also spoken at AmWay events.  Yet another link shows almost a complete overlap between the board of directors for Gospel Films and at the very top levels of AmWay itself--a statement still true, based on Gospel Films' board of directors from their own website.  (It may in fact not be that much of an exaggeration to term Gospel Films a division of AmWay, the links are so close!)

Needless to say, this is incredibly disturbing, especially in light of the fact that AmWay (aka Quixtar aka Alticor aka whatever DBA it's operating under this month) is almost universally considered a bona fide cult by experts in spiritual abuse--and is also likely the single largest corporate sponsor of dominionism in the United States.  A real concern does come to mind of backdoor recruitment of teens into AmWay (and a major recruitment source for AmWay is dominionist churches, so this fear is well founded).

In regards to other dominionist connections, the website for Gospel Films is co-hosted by Salem Communications, a major player in the radio religiocasting field. Gospelcom.net has itself been listed as being essentially a joint venture between Salem Communications and Gospel Films by multiple sources; a formal press release by Salem Communications further bolsters this.  Gospelcom.net actually provides services for a plethora of dominionist organisations.

Suggestion 28 becomes an example in obnoxiousness and a possible advert for home theatre systems all in one:

28. POST-MOVIE BLITZ

A number of recent movies have had spiritual overtones. Some speculate on heaven; some feature a Christian in a leading role or refer openly to God. A movie like Ghost can

cause viewers to think about what happens after death. Forrest Gump can make you think about what your life really counts for and how ordinary people can do great things.

These movies that affect people emotionally can set the stage for your Squad to launch a witnessing blitz. Find a tract that deals with the movie, or a general evangelistic tract, and hang out outside the movie theater. Share the tracts in a tact ful way with the audience as they leave. This is a prime opportunity to talk about God because they are already thinking about eternal things. Say things like,

     Did seeing that movie make you think about where you're going to go when you die?

     How do you think people get to heaven?

After Forrest Gump, you could say,

     Isn't it amazing how so many of us feel like Forrest Gump, like we aren't special? But God thinks we're special. Jesus came in the same way. People didn't think He was important or special, but He ended up changing the world and He can change your heart.

If you want to live on the edge, sit on the front row of the theater during the movie. As soon as the movie is over, stand up and say, "Excuse me. Before you leave, we have a few announcements to make." Take two or three minutes to share the gospel before people leave. Some people might walk out, but you may be able to make the audience think both about the point of the movie and about the gospel. You might even give an alter call. Say, "If you'd like to receive the Lord, raise your hand and I'll pray with you." Use what Hollywood puts in people's minds to make them think about eternity.



If people stood in front of the movie theatre and made announcements of this type before a movie (at least in the movie theatres I attend) that would be a good way to not only be thrown out handily by the ushers, not only banned from the movie theatre, but banned from pretty much ALL but one of the theatres in town that are not "dollar" movie theatres.  (For once I have a reason to be thankful for the effective duopoly that National Amusements and Cinemark have in town--and were it not for the three Cinemark theatres (one of which is the local arthouse movie theatre, the other of which IS the "dollar movie" theatre) it'd be a monopoly.)

Theatres are running thin margins as is, and generally are prone NOT to tolerate disturbances of this sort in their theatres.  (If anything, they're trying desperately to keep the viewers they have--prohibiting kids under 13 in R-rated films after 6 pm in the Cinemark theatres, having beer on tap and a bar in both of the National Amusements megaplexes here as well as the Cinemark arthouse theatre, having showings in IMAX, etc.  At my hometown movie theatre (a National Amusements theatre about a mile from my house) it is quite possible to watch "V for Vendetta" in IMAX, with reserved seating, having a nice glass of wine and real food at the theatre--and gods, but it's nice. :)  If they pulled this stunt at the movie theatres around here, after the first two instances they'd have to resort to hitting the last drive-in within a 40-mile radius because they would be permabanned from every National Amusements and Cinemark theatre in town.

(Now, I know that most areas do not have it as good as, say, Louisville does--outside of major cities, that is.  I seriously doubt that any movie theatre would tolerate a bona fide altar call during the credits outside of a viewing of, oh, "Passion of the Christ".)

In yet another creative way to get yourself expelled, I give you suggestion 29:

29. LOCKER INVASION

The Locker Invasion tactic simply means your R.I.O.T. Squad puts tracts in every locker in your school. Think about doing it after hours so you don't irritate people. It's an opportunity to impact every kid in your school in a single day.

You might decide to use this tactic regularly - once a week or month. But be creative and use a different tract each time. When there is a Carman concert or a youth event coming up, use the tickets as tracts. On one side print the gospel, on the other side advertise the event, then shove them through those slots. Why do you think they put slots on lockers - for ventilation only? No way! They're there to help you get the gospel into people's lives.



Let's see, this could be, oh, problematic in many ways:

a) Increasingly, schools don't even have lockers (because school officials are petrified that people could Stash Contraband in them like guns, bombs, or what Monty Python's Flying Circus poetically referred to as "certain substances".

b) Practically every single student code of conduct I have found on the Internet that addresses lockers states quite clearly that the lockers are school property and the school Very Much Frowns upon misbehaviour with them.  A standard line is that only school related material is allowed in lockers (see Sandusky County OH Schools Handbook for example).

c) A report of people stuffing things in multiple peoples' lockers would arouse suspicion by both students and staff and would likely result in an investigation (and probable suspension) of the student--this because of legitimate concerns of students occasionally planting drugs in the lockers of other students.  There are also recorded cases of students placing weapons in the lockers of other students, as well as harassing notes.

Needless to say, someone doing this would shortly find themselves in most public schools on a short path to what used to be referred to as "reform school" and is now referred to as "alternative educational placement".

Lest you think this too bizzare, they advocate prosyletising in the can, too:

30. BATHROOM REVIVAL

Face it, when people are in the bathroom, they think about something. By implementing the Bathroom Revival tac tic, you can encourage them to think about how much God loves them and where they will spend eternity.

Make a sign that says something simple yet thought-provoking, like the banners in Public Propaganda. Tape it to the inside of a stall or somewhere else where people will see it. Even if they wouldn't normally read a tract, they'll read this one while they're sitting there.

Another Bathroom Revival tactic is putting tracts in the toilet paper dispenser. If you have the roll-up kind, unroll it and put the tracts in one at a time as you roll it back up. As the paper is unrolled, the tracts will fall out one at a time.

Help people understand that no matter where they are or what they're doing God sees them and wants their hearts.



In the immortal words of Dave Barry, "I swear I am not making this up".  Tract-handling in the crapper.  sighs

Mind, a lot of restrooms in schools don't even have doors on the stalls, and only certain periods where people are allowed to go do their business, so they might be restricted to tract-handling with the toilet paper.  

(The time it would take to roll up tracts in the typical industral toilet paper rack, the fact that most toilet paper rolls in public schools are of the very large industrial kind which are locked, the fact you have to let the toilet paper touch the floor (ewwww) which is quite inconsiderate of those who follow to use the bathroom, the limited amount of bathroom time available, and the definite lack of amusement of the custodial staff is not considered.  Nor is the real possibility that disgruntled users of the bathroom who are thorougly sick to death of the constant God-warrioring may use the tracts in lieu of toilet paper (and as a dorm of indelicate protest, thus causing even MORE problems for the custodial staff, who is still cleaning up tracts on the floor and in the lockers) considered.)




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