YouTube censors viral video documentary on Palin's churches
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:03:08 PM EST
Sarah Palin was baptized at Wasilla Assembly of God and attended the church for over two and a half decades, and she has been publicly blessed by a number of pastors and religious leaders employed by and associated with that church.

Last Sunday our research team released a video, a ten-minute mini-documentary, focusing on the Wasilla Assemblies of God and the video seemed on the verge of a massive "viral" breakthrough when YouTube pulled it down, citing "inappropriate content".

At the point the video was censored by YouTube it had been viewed by almost 160,000 people. The short of it is that YouTube has censored a video documentary that appeared to be close to having an effect on a hard fought and contentious American presidential election.

Censored video: "Sarah Palin's Demon Haunted Churches

[YouTube-censored 'viral' video on]

For documentation, video sourcing and background articles, see Talk To Action article, Sarah Palin's Demon Haunted Churches - The Complete Edition

Contains :  

-Documentation on the sources of video footage used in the documentary.

-A written summary of the surrounding story, to contextualize the video.

-Supplemental Documentation on the Third Wave movement.

Two days ago I contacted YouTube asking what in the video was deemed "inappropriate" but I haven't received a reply. Meanwhile, YouTube has allowed someone else to post our video in full, but it is no longer in our control and so we no longer are able to update information we had included with our original video, including links to our articles which provide sourcing and documentation on our video.

The video was part of a wider effort by our research team, which has written several articles and released two short videos documenting religious beliefs espoused at Sarah Palin's Alaska churches - especially the Wasilla Assemblies of God, the Juneau Christian Center and the Church On The Rock. Our team has over a decade's aggregate experience in researching political and theological beliefs of the American Christian conservative right and has been researching for several years the particular religious movement and doctrines these churches promote.

Our video had climbed, the day before YouTube censored it, to the #10 'viral video of the day' spot according to a website that tracks viral videos. Moreover the video, and our attached stories explaining the "Third Wave" theology associated with at least three of four of Palin's Alaska churches, were being posted on web sites associated with conservative Christians.

Our research has already impacted the current presidential election, as evidenced by the three-minute and forty second "God Sent Hitler" video that was shown around the world and forced John McCain to renounce the political endorsement of pastor John Hagee (according to according to the New York Times and a wide range of other media including the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, AP, the Dallas Morning News, CNN and MSNBC). The video featured an excerpt, from a late 2005 sermon, broadcast internationally and sold by Hagee's ministry as a DVD, in which Hagee stated that "God sent a hunter - Hitler was a hunter" and suggested the divinely appointed mission was to drive Europe's Jews to Palestine because that was, according to Hagee, "God's top priority". Hagee's beliefs have also been targeted more frequently by his fellow conservative Christians than by the Roman Catholic and Jewish communities that he attacks in his sermons.

If Sarah Palin may hold apocalyptic end-time beliefs or believes that she has a divine mandate to initiate an end-time conflict, American voters have the right to know about the doctrines taught in Palin's Alaska churches. These churches are closely associated with a movement, called the Third Wave or New Apostolic Reformation, which holds views that are highly controversial, particularly among other conservative Christians who are most aware of this fast growing international phenomenon.  The activities of the movement have been condemned as heresy by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, to which two of Palin's churches currently belong.  Accusations even stronger than `heresy', decrying the "Third Wave" religious movement, have been launched from Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christian groups.

Our focus on Palin's churches does not "bash religion" and has been praised by conservative Christians for its academic rigor. We are examining the religious views promoted at Palin's churches because the Third Wave / New Apostolic Reformation movement rejects pluralism and its followers believe they have been anointed by God to lead a unified superchurch into the final age - both of which have public policy implications.

Sarah Palin has every right to hold whatever religious views she chooses but, by the same token, the American people have every right to know what Palin's religious beliefs are - especially to the extent that they may include the view that all other religious and philosophical views but her own are under the influence of demonic powers and that believing Christians must conquer the Earth and cleanse it of evil in this final generation.

Our primary focus is not with the hyper-charismatic manifestations, `outpourings', associated with the "Third Wave" movement in which those 'slain', 'washed' or 'soaking' in the spirit  bark, howl and shriek, shake spasmodically, laugh or sob, crawl about on all fours, bang their heads on walls, and fall into stupors - all which the participants seem to enjoy.  Neither is our main focus on problematic healing sessions, in which demons are expelled, that sometimes involve patients being kicked or head butted. Our focus is on beliefs behind these manifestations - such as the idea that these outpourings indicate that the participants are part of an "army of God" and comprise the final generation before the end times.  Also problematic is that these healings and supernatural works are seen not as "divine intervention" by God but as the result of supernatural gifts imparted to those humans "anointed" to participant in ridding the world of evil.

From a standpoint of public policy it is significant that Third Wave doctrine teaches that their leaders are raising a generation of youth who will be imparted with supernatural powers and form a conquering Christian army.  These youth, often referred to as Joel's Army and as the generation born after 1973, will purge the earth in preparation for Jesus' return.  The movement features special gatherings of believers to use "spiritual warfare" to purge "territorial demons" and end "generational curses" in order to transform the cities of America and the world. Social reform thus takes place through the expulsion of demons.

Third Wave doctrine is an example of an extreme religious exceptionalism - not only are all other religious and philosophical belief systems on Earth seen as invalid and under satanic influence, but Third Wave theology sees all competing branches, sects and denominations of Christianity, particularly other conservative Christians who refuse to join "the river" of these outpourings, as an obstacle to God's divine will. Third Wave adherents believe that other Christian churches must drop their competing doctrines, which prevent them from joining this final end-time army, and group together under the new authority of the Apostles and Prophets of this final age.  In other words, true believers will join together, in one triumphant end time church, to do battle against evil in the final generation.  C. Peter Wagner, a central figure in the organization of the movement, believes that this second Apostolic age began in 2001 and that it is "heralding the most radical change in the way of doing church at least since the Protestant Reformation." He also claims that this international movement under the direction of his Apostles is the only large sector of Christianity growing faster worldwide than Islam.

Wagner and his Apostles monitor their progress through the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, attached to the New Life church formerly led by Ted Haggard.  Leading Apostles and Prophets with titles such as "Generals of Intercession" go on spiritual warfare ventures with names like "Operation Ice Castle" - to attack the territorial demons which they believe prevent Muslims and Roman Catholics from embracing the true faith.  In one such venture, one of the participants happily testified that she believed their efforts against the demon, "the Queen of Heaven", may have resulted in the death of Mother Theresa.

The American public has a right to know that Sarah Palin, Alaska governor and now GOP vice presidential candidate, may hold such views. And YouTube, as an evolving Fourth-Estate media institution, has the responsibility of refraining from censoring efforts at informing the American public about Palin's likely beliefs.

On June 8, 2008 in the Wasilla Assembly of God, her church of over 25 years, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin declared United States military forces in Iraq to be "out on a task that is from God." Head Pastor of that church, Ed Kalnins, has also made statements indicating that he views the current conflict in Iraq as part of an apocalyptic end-times struggle. Palin recently stated her enthusiasm, in a widely televised interview, for war with Russia - a country that, along with the United States, possesses vast stockpiles of intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles.  The American public has a right to know if Palin believes, as does the Third Wave movement in which her churches take part, that she has a divine mandate or "anointing" to do battle to purge those she views as evil from the world.

Most Americans do not want an American jihad to conquer the world in the name of God let alone a global nuclear war. Judging from the churches Palin attends and from her public statements we have to take very seriously the prospect of having a Vice President, a heartbeat away from the United States presidency, who holds such apocalyptic goals.

[below: new video documentary, our second, "Palin's Churches and The Holy Laughter Anointing]

Palin's Churches and The Holy Laughter Anointing

For documentation, video sourcing and background articles, see Talk To Action article on Palin's Churches and The Holy Laughter Anointing

[below - introduction from article]

Rodney Howard Browne is recognized worldwide as the source of Holy Laughter anointing to revivals around the globe.   He has become a central figure in the Third Wave, also known as the New Apostolic Reformation, and is credited with bringing Holy Laughter to the Toronto Airport Blessing and the Lakeland Outpouring.  Howard-Browne is also a long time associate of Mike Rose, senior pastor of Juneau Christian Center, formerly the Bethel Assembly of God. When in residence in Juneau, Sarah Palin has chosen to attend Juneau Christian Center as documented by the church, and by the Alaska Assemblies of God state newsletter, Alaska Update.

...that all they accomplish by trying to censor a story is to create a bigger story? Censoring something is the surest way to make a whole new wave of people want to look at it to see why it was censored.

by Chris Rodda on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:25:55 PM EST

I am willing to bet--based on prior knowledge of what has happened with exposes of prior "Third Wave" groups, that your Youtube videos may have been the victim of an organised "complaint spamming" to Youtube, similar to the stuff the Parents' Television Council does with the FCC.

About twelve years or so back, ABC did a particularly damning expose of coercive tactics at an early "Third Wave" revival (at Brownsville A/G in Pensacola, FL) on the show "20/20"; I'm also aware that after this was shown, there was an organised letter-writing and complaint campaign against the show in "Third Wave" churches (including the Assemblies church I am a walkaway from).

Similar tactics have been documented with other criticisms and even with folks taking a relatively neutral tack but showing material that makes "Joel's Army" folks look bad (including against the makers of the movie "Jesus Camp"), and similar tactics have been used against Youtube viral videos by members of other coercive religious groups (the "Joel's Army" linked Bill Gothard frontgroups have targeted material critical of them, and (in a non-dominionist example) viral videos concerning Scientology have been targeted in similar manner).  

I also expect that complaints of inappropriate content were used, in large part, because the usual method used to take down this info wasn't usable (namely, typically these groups like to throw out bogus DMCA notices).  I would also warn you to keep a watch out for possible targeting of this on Vimeo as well (Vimeo does seem to be a bit more resistant to censorship attempts of this type, but is probably not 100%, sadly) and would strongly suggest archival on multiple sites and accounts.

by dogemperor on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 04:50:32 AM EST

you need to expand to as many video sites as possible. I kinda disagree with Ms. Rodda on this; There may be some talk about the unfairness of taking the video down, but ultimately, the video is not being watched, and the talk dies down after a few days. Fortunately, many of us on the left are aware of how radical some of the tenets of Ms. Palin's church really are, and the word is spreading. The bottom line on that is, we aren't nearly as fanatical about this as are those who worships as she does. so vigilance becomes much more important. With all of you working on so many fronts, trying to keep the theocrats from taking over is certainly looking like a full-time endeavor. Thanks again!

by trog69 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 09:47:08 AM EST

I read about this on Modemac's "High Weirdness Project" and the first thing that went through my head was, "Find a copy of that video and repost it on your account." (Wouldn't be the first time I've done that, I've got Hillsong's Healer up on my account right now. Hillsong DMCA'ed this version late last month to try and cover up the fraud that the lead singer perpetrated upon his family, his church and Hillsong.)

I understand totally why you want to be able to update the video, etc., but another part of viral videos is that when one person's video gets yanked for spurious reasons, several more spring up in its place. Just ask Scientology how successful that is.

Something to consider, and yes, I've snagged a copy of "Demon Haunted Churches."

by mirele on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 09:47:42 AM EST

Just thought I'd point out that George Otis' "spiritual mapping" (he's in this video) has been totally and completely refuted, at least in my eyes.

Otis claimed that the city of Hemet, California, had been spiritually transformed through a practice of spiritual mapping, prayer walking and coming against principalities and powers. Otis released a video, "Transformations I," which made the claim that Hemet was a transformed city:  less crime, higher graduation rates, more church attendance, fewer cults. There are websites that debunk these claims pretty thoroughly. What irritates me the most is that Otis had to brazenly lie because the Church of Scientology has an extensive operation on the far north side of Hemet (actually next to San Jacinto, CA) and at the time the video was made, was housing its staff people in Hemet.

I shouldn't be surprised that people will flat-out, brazenly lie about stuff like this. But if they'll do it on something like this, what would a Sarah Palin do if she really got herself some power?

by mirele on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 10:12:38 AM EST

Keep it up Bruce....your efforts are obviously having quite an affect....

by dckanz on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 12:04:08 PM EST

I can see why they would want to 'astroturf' it. Scenes like those probably aren't going to play well with the moderates and undecideds. As you all probably have heard, Palin's favorability ratings have dropped and the 'bump' in the polls is gone. Mainly this is the result of the stock market crash, but if the stock had held together for a month, you can betcha that these videos would have gotten more airplay.
"People are like the stars. There are bright ones, and there are those that are dim."
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by jordanss123 on Mon Sep 30, 2019 at 02:28:37 AM EST

It's no surprise that YouTube would censor a video documentary on Sarah Palin's churches.  diamonds rings for cheap After all, YouTube is owned by Google, and Google is no friend of conservatives. The video was probably censored because it was critical of Palin and her churches, and YouTube doesn't want to give conservatives a platform.

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