The "Walid Shoebat Foundation" Con Game--Exposed!
Oh, what a complicated web we weave
In regards to an article in the March 30 Jerusalem Post which found that the "Walid Shoebat Foundation" was not a registered charity in its home state of Pennsylvania and seemed to be linked to a greeting-card company in PA...well, that inspired me to do some digging.
As it is, the group pings my frontgroup-dar to begin with; almost all the non-investigatory, non-self-promotion links regarding WSF come from dominionist sources, and there are a plethora of "Messianic Jew" groups and neopente dominionist orgs linked to Walid Shoebat Foundation. Odds are, WSF is running as a frontgroup of another org--and as we'll see soon, it's likely running as a frontgroup of a very commercial company.
Now, I have my doubts the org is even existant; they are not searchable in any database of form 990s (which would be required for them to be considered tax-exempt under that d/b/a, unless they are using the infamous "church loophole" to get out of filing a form 990).
According to page 14 of an official Pennsylvania state government publication for charitable fundraisers, any group doing charitable fundraising must register that name, and all d/b/a's, with the state Attorney-General (unless they pull in less than $25,000 a year and have nobody specifically fundraising for them--if they have folks hired for the purpose fundraising, they are legally required to register anyways, no matter how much they pull in yearly). As has been noted, the group is apparently not registered with with the PA Department of State Charities Division, which is itself rather illegal.
Another red flag is that Walid Shoebat Foundation tries very hard to hide any links pointing to its physical location--all links for contact info are via email only. However, they have not used an anonymising whois registry, and whois info for the domain shoebat.com indicates it is hosted and owned by a group called Top Executive Media. The donation page also points to Top Executive Media, which also d/b/a Top Executive Greetings, which specialises in printing not only greeting cards and Shoebat's "I WUZ A TEENAGE JIHADIST" drivel but books promoting neopente dominionism in general. (And no, Top Executive Media and Top Executive Greetings aren't listed as nonprofits either--they're very much for-profit companies.)
The real poop on Top Executive Media
It would actually appear that Top Executive Media have a wee bit of a hobby industry regarding "I was a despicable (insert group here) and then I found neopentecostal religion" writings; the only party promoted besides the Shoebats, Hilmar von Campe, makes quite the career of promoting much the same things as Shoebat only claiming he is a former Hitler Youth member and equating practically all non-dominionist political, social, and scientific movements with Nazism. In fact, one of Shoebat's former partners in crime (who has since left the con game) and von Campe have shoveled this drek together in talks.
Looking at Top Executive Media's website now, it appears the entire site has been blanked, but Wayback Archive comes to the rescue on the content that formerly existed at the site. It would appear the main page's content has been blanked since March 2006 or so, but before that, the site sold itself as a greetings card company. The initial hosting for the Top Executive Greetings site would appear to be an explicitly dominionist web provider promoting itself as setting "God, Family, Work" as its priorities; the web site designers as of the final viewable revision of the page are also linked to MSB Marketing owned by Larry Erdos. (VERY interestingly, it would appear Erdos has connections to Swift Boaters; he now runs multilevel-marketing schemes with aspects of affinity fraud and assists in promotion of other forms of affinity fraud as well targeting the dominionist community.)
In addition to essentially being a dominionist-run company, they also apparently had a rep for publishing "Salesy" Christmas cards, among other things. The company pretty much specialised in "employee incentive" cards during its operation as a functioning company.
As for the present whois info for Top Executive Media's website, here's what I found:
Hmmm. (Yes, Mr. Davies becomes potentially important later.)
As for actwd.com, their site redirects to Web Hosting for Idiots, whose client list seems kind of skeevy (I recognise at least one or two Google keyword spammers in that list, among others). Of their non-skeevy (as in potentially fraudulent) clientele, most of it seems to be skewed definitely towards the right-wing end of things.
Oh, and as for the address shown as the location for Top Executive Media in the whois info and in the backups of their old websites?
Here's the satellite view of the listed location for "Top Executive Media" in Google Maps. Yes, you're seeing this right--"Top Executive Media" is pretty much run out of a McMansion, probably Davies'.
Potentially deeper fraud, or some very interesting stuff re a Mr. Keith Davies
It would also appear I'm not the only one to do this digging and find this discovery. At least one other party (besides myself and our own Bruce Wilson, at that!) monitoring extremist groups has not only stumbled on this, but noticed that Walid Shoebat:
Now, I'm no DNA expert. But even I have to admit the resemblance is kind of eerie. Could we well have stumbled upon something in dire need of further investigation? Only time will tell.
As for Keith Davies himself...now, digging up on that name turns up MANY an interesting thing.
Literally the very first hit from his ZoomInfo profile is to a Joel's Army group (and a particularly nasty one at that--the site literally equates the Mahdi in Islamic theology to the Antichrist); he's bogusly claimed to be an "Irish Jew living in Pennsylvania" (firstly, he's a "messianic Jew" and probably of the "Assemblies of God member keeping kosher" variety at that; secondly, I have never heard of anyone referring to themselves as an "Irish Jew" other than people of Jewish descent living in Ireland or Belfast). Interestingly, there's a party of the same name (but different nationality--although the group promoting this is out of Bethlehem, PA) promoting "creation science" as well.
There's also a very interesting article in New Voices, a Jewish newspaper published for college students by college students, regarding some of the links between Davies and Shoebat:
Keith Davies, an Irish Jew now living in Pennsylvania, is Shoebat's agent and tour manager. Davies has no qualms about sending Shoebat to speak to Jewish groups without mentioning his Christian Zionism: all that matters, Davies says, is Shoebat's willingness to speak for Israel. But Davies clearly feels that if attention is called to his evangelism, Shoebat's credibility may suffer: immediately after I interviewed Shoebat and asked about his religious beliefs-particularly pressing him on details of his Christian Zionism-I received a call from Davies instructing me not to mention those beliefs in this article. If I did, Davies warned, it would "hurt Israel." And Davies is protective of his own image as well; upon being emailed the quotes to be attributed to him in this article, Davies replied, "This is a disgusting article and I will [not] have anything further to do with you."
Mmm-hmmm. Right. We have a guy who is supposedly a former mojaheddin for the PLO (no matter that he'd not be able to fly around the US, seeing as the PLO is still regarded as a terrorist org and we wouldn't even let Arafat in the country when he was head of the Palestinian government as an elected leader), going under an admitted alias, promoting essentially "Messianic Islam", with a guy who claims to be an "Irish Jew" (who is in practice a "Messianic Jew"), who looks almost identical, who also publishes books by another guy claiming all non-neopentes are literally in league with the Nazi Party (and who claims to have been a member of the Hitlerjugend). Gotcha.
So let's review--there's quite a bit of evidence to suggest the whole WSF thing is just a frontgroup for former "executive card publisher" and present-day neopentecostal hate-publisher Top Executive Media (which apparently is a home business)--which is owned by a guy who looks as if he may as well be a twin to "Walid Shoebat". Oh, and there's the cute thing about them falsely claiming to be a nonprofit, which is almost certainly in violation of Pennsylvania business and charitable solicitation laws. :3
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