Transforming Hawaii, Part 2
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11:23:50 AM EST
[latest related Talk To Action story: Hawaii Candidate For Governor Claimed Membership in Group That Burns Native Art]

[Transforming Hawaii, part one]

"It's taken me 9,000 miles... to understand what is happening in Uganda"

Duke Aiona has been deeply involved with ITN's efforts in Hawaii for at least five years and in November 2006 the Lt. Gov. took time off from his reelection campaign and traveled thousands of miles to the ITN's 16th world conference on nation transformation held November 10-17, 2006 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Featured prominently at the 2006 conference was First Lady of Uganda Janet Museveni.

Also making the journey from Hawaii to Argentina for the 2006 ITN event were Cal Chinen and Francis Oda. Both men serve as leaders of  Transformation Hawaii and also its parent organization, the International Transformation Network. Chinen, pastor of the Maonalua Garden Missionary Church, hosted the pastor's track at the conference. Under his photo on an ITN brochure for the event is the statement, "Transformation Hawai'i is founded upon principles first pioneered in Argentina. My life, family and ministry have been completely changed by what I experienced in Argentina."

As Ed Silvoso describes in the same brochure, "this year at our International Institute you will be exposed to the phenomenon of cities being transformed and nations being discipled. And more important yet, you will learn why and how it is happening."

In promotional footage taken at the 2006 conference, for a video advertising ITN's upcoming 2007 conference, Duke Aiona gushed, "It's taken me 9,000 miles, approximately, away from home to understand what is happening in Uganda, what is happening in Argentina." The footage also showed Aiona leading a group prayer, holding hands with Janet Museveni. The previous year, in a 2005 interview with the BBC World Service, Museveni had compared condom use to "theft" and "murder."

In 2008, unable to attend the 18th ITN conference in Argentina, First Lady Janet Museveni sent Allen Kagina, head of Uganda's Tax Authority, in her place as Museveni's spokesperson and  Kagina read a speech that Janet Museveni had written to deliver at the conference.

It is not clear what Duke Aiona understands about Uganda but at the start of the year 2000, Janet Museveni and her husband, like Lt. Governor Aiona, publicly dedicated the nation of Uganda to Jesus Christ.

A year before that dedication, President Museveni had declared that all of Uganda's homosexuals must be arrested and prosecuted. Not only gay rights but human rights protections have been under siege during Yowerie Museveni's rule. As noted by the Uganda Daily Monitor, on March 11, 2010 the United States released a report faulting Uganda's government for a wide range of human rights abuses including,

"arbitrary and politically motivated killings, abductions; electoral irregularities; official corruption; mob and ethnic violence and official impunity....

...politically motivated abductions; torture and abuse of suspects and detainees and harsh prison conditions; arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention; the holding of suspects incommunicado and lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on the right to a fair trial and on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion; restrictions on opposition parties.

...violence and discrimination against women and children... violence and discrimination against persons with disabilities and homosexuals; restrictions on labour rights; and forced labour, including child labour."

Along with Hawaii, Uganda is one of the celebrated prototypes of national "transformation" in Ed Silvoso's movement and has been enshrined in a series of pseudo-documentary videos by George Otis, Jr., another architect of transformation ideology who some credit with coining the term "spiritual mapping" and who has played a key role in popularizing the practice.

Otis Jr.'s "Transformation II : The Glory Spreads" contains footage from the elaborate December 31, 1999 / January 1, 2000 stadium event, with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni presiding, during which Uganda was dedicated and covenanted for 1,000 years to Jesus Christ. Otis Jr.'s "An Unconventional War" features evangelist Julius Oyet and lionizes an alleged miraculous campaign by Oyet against the Lord's Reformation Army, a cultic Christian insurgent group widely credited with committing wholesale atrocities against the Acholi tribes people of Northern Uganda.

"An Unconventional War" depicts Julius Oyet and Ugandan government troops miraculously liberating Northern Uganda's one to two million Acholi who have been confined for the better part of a decade, by the government, to squalid concentration camps allegedly for "protection" against the Lord's Reformation Army. But numerous reports jarringly contradict the glowing, triumphant account and implicate the Ugandan government in wholesale atrocities against the Acholi. (see footnote)

Burning the idols, Killing the `rats'

Among the international faculty listed for the 2006 ITN Argentina conference was evangelist Cindy Jacobs. During an impassioned speech at the week-long 2008 18th International Transformation Network conference, Jacobs exhorted her audience to bring "idols" and "witchcraft" items to a following Sunday church service declaring, "If you have any idols in your home we're going to burn them ! If you have any witchcraft items in your home, you bring them Sunday and we're going to burn them !"

Ed Silvoso was not to be outdone. In an October 6th afternoon session at the 2008 Argentina conference, during which Cal Chinen described Transformation Hawaii's E Pule Kakou initiative, Silvoso suggested their religious movement was like a 747 with rats infesting the non-pressurized parts of the plane. Leaders of their movement needed to "discern," explained Silvoso, when they should bring their plane to cruising altitude where the rats would die for lack of oxygen.

The same afternoon, in the following session, Hawaii middle school principal Susan Mulcahy made the point even more bluntly. Recounting a 40 point complaint filed in reaction to her her efforts to "transform" her school, Mulcahy explained, "This is the important thing folks - when you step out in the education system and you begin to do something the rats start acting up, okay ?"

An "extensive, intimate association"

A March 16, 2010 Christian Broadcast Network story from correspondent David Brody acknowledged Duke Aiona's association with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Transformation Hawaii. But while Brody characterized the relationship as  "occasional," that was wildly inaccurate, and directly contradicting Brody, Ed Silvoso's Harvest Evangelism web site itself has characterized Aiona as an "active participant" of Transformation Hawaii. Even that is an understatement.

Aiona's 2004 dedication of Hawaii to Jesus, the Lt. Governor's use of his official office stationary to recruit churches for Transformation Hawaii events, and the monthly prayer meetings for Transformation Hawaii members that Aiona has for years held in his Lt. Governor's conference room at the Hawaii state capital building, have raised alarm among advocates for church-state separation, led to minor scrutiny and controversy within the state.

But Aiona's extensive and intimate association with Transformation Hawaii and the International Transformation Network, and the radical nature of the ideology held by leaders of those organizations, have so far escaped public notice.

Besides being listed as the honorary chairman of Transformation Hawaii, Lt Governor Aiona has attended ITN events in Hawaii, Argentina and probably California as well. The Lt. Governor contributed a chapter to a book, edited by Caroline Oda, Catch the wave, which chronicles the "transformation" of Hawaii based on methods, as Transformation Hawaii's leaders openly acknowledge, taught by Ed Silvoso and his ITN.  Silvoso wrote the book's forward.

In 2005 Lt. Gov. Aiona was listed as a scheduled speaker, and along with Francis Oda and Cal Chinen a listed faculty member, at the International Transformation Network's August 6 and August 11-13 "Light the Bay II" event held in California's San Francisco Bay area.

According a September 5th, 2005 newsletter [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ] from Harvest Evangelism West Coast Regional Director Ted Hahs, Light the Bay II featured an impressive level of strategic mobilization. "[C]lose to 20 [airplane] flights with over 40 intercessors" circled the Bay Area while "Christian motorcycle and car clubs caravanned on the roadways around the Bay" and " `Spiritual warfare specialists' visited the four highest peaks surrounding the Bay Area to declare the dominion of God in the high places." The "command center" was "a cruise [ship] packed with 600 prayer warriors cruising the Bay in prayer for four hours."

Hahs wrote, "Our best estimate is that over 2,000 people participated in the prayer exercises on August 6th, praying on LAND, in the AIR, and at SEA."

As reported in the June-July 2005  issue of Cityflight Newsmagazine,

"On August 6th, Harvest will celebrate 25 years of evangelizing by inviting and supporting those kingdom minded churches to lift a "canopy of prayer" over the entire Bay Area, via Air, Land & Sea.

Christian pilots will fly over the entire Bay Area with intercessors, praying and anointing the skies, while land caravans and relays will drive around the Bay Area praying in high places and blessing our land. Finally, a large ship, holding over 1,000 people will sail out to bless the
Bay while radio sponsor KFAX broadcasts and interview those attending."

Unlike Duke Aiona, Ugandan evangelist Julius Oyet was not officially listed as a speaker for the several day Light The Bay II extravaganza but as Ted Hahs described in his September 2005 newsletter [ 1, ], in a section titled "Anchoring the Canopy - a Lesson on Prayer from Uganda,"

"After raising the canopy and dedicating the 24/7 Prayer Center, on Thursday evening, Aug. 11th we ANCHORED the canopy of prayer at a united prayer rally. 600 to 800 people attended; more importantly, God showed up. Two leaders of the Ugandan transformation movement, Pastors Julius Oyet and Jackson Senyonga, were the keynote speakers. Honestly it was one of the most powerful meetings I ever attended. They walked right out of the throne room of God to deliver His word. When they taught what Biblical prayer really is, we were cut to the core with conviction."

A shining model of transformation

As the video documentary Transforming Uganda [ high resolution, medium resolution, low resolution ] details, in 2009 Julius Peter Oyet played a major role organizing and inspiring legislators who drafted, submitted, and have backed Uganda's internationally controversial Anti Homosexuality Bill, also known as Bill #18. In January 2010 Transforming Uganda was cited in Congressional testimony by the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, concerning the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill.

Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia, is author of a recent report from the Boston-based nonprofit Political Research Associates, "Globalizing the Culture Wars : U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, & Homophobia" which, according to a PRA press release,

"exposes the U.S. Right's promotion of an agenda in Africa that aims to criminalize homosexuality and otherwise infringe upon the human rights of LGBT people while also mobilizing African clerics in U.S. culture war battles. U.S. social conservatives, who are in the minority in mainline churches, depend on African religious leaders to legitimize their positions as their growing numbers makes African Christians more influential globally."

According to Rev. Kaoma, while many American evangelicals such as Purpose Driven Life author and evangelist Rick Warren have denounced Uganda's eliminationist Anti Homosexuality Bill, Bishop Julius Oyet, who until recently presided over an association of independent, born again,  charismatic churches in Uganda that represents as much as 1/5 of more of the country's population and which has served as Yowerie Museveni's staunchest base of electoral support, still publicly supports the Anti Homosexuality Bill. Other ITN members are not currently on record denouncing the bill.

Newsletters from Ed Silvoso's Harvest Evangelism ministry indicate that Julius Oyet has been one of the ITN's key operatives in Uganda. Oyet has had personal contact with Janet and Yowerie Museveni at least since the making of the video An Unconventional War, from the Sentinel Group, released in 2005, which depicts Oyet's role in a spiritual warfare campaign against the cultic rebel Christian group the Lord's Reformation Army, that has widely been accused of extensive atrocities and massacres in Northern Uganda and the People's Republic of the Congo.

As shown in the video documentary Transforming Uganda, Julius Oyet and the makers of An Unconventional War had direct personal access to Yowerie Museveni, who put elements of Uganda's army at Oyet's disposal for his Northern Uganda campaign depicted in the Sentinel Group video. Shown in the video, Yowerie Museveni states,

"These rural folks have beliefs in those ancestral spirits and so on. So it is important that that angle is addressed." Another Ugandan appearing in the video, World Trumpet Mission ministry Founder John Mulinde, describes the situation Oyet allegedly confronted in combatting alleged pagan practices of the Lord's Reformation Army,

"The Lord gave us a word - declare war on witchcraft and idolatry... it became evident that there was very strong witchcraft involved."

Transforming Orlando, Sao Paulo, and Baltimore

John Mulinde is a "Transformation Associate" in another world-spanning transformation franchise running parallel to Ed Silvoso's ITN, under Sentinel Group Founder George Otis, Jr., who has played a key role in popularizing the Spiritual Mapping paradigm through a series of videos, under the brand name "Transformations," first released in 1999.

The Transformations pseudo-documentary video series purports to show how Christians can redeem cities, towns, geographic areas, and nations, and so bring about earthly utopias, by hunting accused witches, driving out demon spirits, and achieving Christian unity across denominational lines.

As shown in Otis, Jr.'s videos, the result of such expulsion of demons, and humans deemed to be on the side of evil, is mass conversion to charismatic evangelical Christianity, precipitous drops in crime and addiction, miraculous healing of environment degradation, and the growth of enormous vegetable crops.

John Mulinde's World Trumpet Mission is helping launch transformation efforts in at least several cities across the United States. One recent World Trumpet Ministry video shows the rise of a Baltimore-based effort that is forging relationships with Baltimore government and police. In Orlando, Florida, World Trumpet Mission has helped nurture an Orlando church-based effort, initiated by the head Chaplain of Orlando's police department, in which church members, backed by police units, walk the streets of crime ridden areas of Orlando attempting to pray down crime rates.

Such efforts might seem benign, but another effort under the Sentinel Group aegis, shown in a new video from George Otis Jr.'s video production company, "A Force For Change," depicts the rise of a Christian police member association within Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo. As a narrator states in the video, "God wants to use the police force, as an institution, to leverage the transformation of our society."

According to George Otis, Jr., Sao Paulo's Christian police association is "spiritually mapping"  Sao Paulo. The video suggests the organization is helping to clean up corruption and reduce crime in the city. But during the summer of 2009, Sao Paulo police violently evicted 3,000 slum residents from their homes and the rise of Sao Paulo's Christian police association correlates with a pattern of  extrajudicial killings that a December 8, 2009 report from Human Rights Watch attributes to Sao Paulo's police

War on Santa Claus, condoms, and witchcraft

Another member of Silvoso's ITN team is Atlanta-based evangelist Os Hillman, who befriended Julius Oyet at the International Transformation Network's November 2005 Conference in Argentina, "Nation Transformation Through Marketplace Redemption."

In April 2006 Os Hillman went to Africa and spoke together with Oyet at a mass revival event during  which Julius Oyet, according to Hillman [ PDF file ], "called for people to lay down their witchcraft tools and condoms. These things were thrown onto the stage. This was an amazing spectacle."

It was probably not an isolated incident. According to one report [ PDF file ] in early 2004 Oyet held a revival "crusade" in Northern Uganda at which the evangelist "called on all attendants to forward their rosary beads together with condoms they carried in their pockets, to be burnt off since they belong to the same category of deviation from the way of God."

The ITN held its first Uganda conference, attended by Janet Museveni, in Kampala in 2004. The same year President Yowerie Museveni gave a speech that signaled a dramatic reversal in Ugandan health policy by inveighing against alleged evils of "condom culture."  Beginning in 2004 the availability of condoms in Uganda dramatically declined and the nation's HIV/AIDS rate, down from as high as twenty nine percent of the population in urban areas at the height of the epidemic to six percent nationally, began to rise again.

In his book Transformation: Change the Marketplace and You Change the World  (Regal, 2007) Ed Silvoso writes that "the Babylonian systems intentionally prefer to push a futile non-God approach that benefits no one but the manufacturers of condoms, as a Ugandan leader confided to me." (page 214)

In the same book Silvoso suggests non-charismatic Catholics are damned, writing that roughly fifty percent of Guatemalans are evangelical Christians so that, together with born-again (charismatic) Catholics, "three out of four Guatemalans are saved."  Silvoso's sectarian tendency views Christians who are not "spirit filled" and born-again as holding invalid or corrupt expressions of the faith. (page 62)

The radical nature of transformation movement ideology comes out starkly in a recent video interview pastor Cal Chinen did with two pastors from a Hawaii charismatic church, Hope Chapel Mountainside.

During the July 2009 interview Chinen described talking with former director of the Argentine division of  Ed Silvoso's Harvest Evangelism ministry, and Silvoso's "good friend," Eduardo Lorenzo, who visited Chinen's church in that month. In late March 2009, Ed Silvoso also visited Chinen's church.

As Cal Chinen admiringly described, Eduardo Lorenzo is leading a campaign that has banished Santa Claus and Christmas trees from Christmas, and the observance of Halloween altogether from the Buenos Aires suburb of Adrogue. According to Chinen's account, Lorenzo's effort has also chased away or else converted every one of Adrogue's "witches.

Discipling nations, excising `ideological tumors'

Along with homosexuality, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Halloween, and "witches," incorrect ideology in general is a corrupting influence to be surgically excised, it would seem. On page 259 of Transformation Ed Silvoso writes,

"Instead of bayonets and machetes, we have been outfitted with scalpels to remove malignant ideological tumors in the minds of people made sick by the Babylonian system and to do heart transplants, the kind that turns rebels into revolutionaries to make the world a better place by causing the will of God to be done on Earth as it is already done in heaven."

Ed Silvoso represents a fast rising tendency within evangelical Christianity that rejects "rapture" theology and instead stresses that believers should achieve dominion over all the Earth.

In his  2007 book Transformation, Silvoso criticizes the "rapture mentality" and writes,

"By "rapture mentality" I mean that believers did not have a working theology for discipling nations, nor did they pursue one, for two reasons: 1) They considered them beyond redemption, and 2) they erroneously looked at the rapture as the way of escape from a world that they perceived was rapidly being taken over by the Antichrist." (page 177)

Silvoso goes on to provide examples of such nation-discipling  such as the Roman Empire, efforts of militant Islam, the former Soviet Union under Lenin, and Communist China under Mao Zedong and he proclaims, "Now we are going for entire nations-in fact, for all the nations of the World."

Those are not idle words. In Uganda Silvoso's ITN has achieved such a level of influence in Uganda that, according to Uganda's state house web site, in 2007 Ugandan President Yowerie Museveni and Uganda's First Lady Janet Museveni held an official state dinner for visiting ITN representatives. According to its newsletters in 2006 the ITN launched, in partnership with the government of Uganda, an effort, working through born-again churches in the country, to "transform" the nation.

As ITN Africa representative Werner Swart stated at the 2008 ITN Argentina conference, in  Uganda ITN members are training members of Kampala's upscale Covenant Nations Church, founded by Patience Museveni - daughter of Uganda's First Lady, to "transform" Kampala. Attendees of the church have included Yowerie and Janet Museveni and also Ugandan parliament member David Bahati. During the conference Werner Swart also described an ITN program to bring "transformation" principles to leaders of the 12,000 to 14,000 independent, born-again charismatic churches in Uganda.

Along with Uganda, Hawaii is billed as one of ITN's leading "prototypes." The International Transformation Network is partnering with government leaders of nations, such as Uganda, Argentina and the Philippines, US states such as Hawaii, and US cities including Newark, New Jersey], in "transformation" efforts aimed at achieving Christian dominance over key societal sectors such as government, business, media, and education.

[Transforming Hawaii, part one]




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