Glenn Beck's Parochial-Entertainment-Complex Spawns Summer Camps
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 10:53:38 AM EST
In July 2011, after the horrendous massacre in Norway that took the lives of 77 -- mostly youngsters attending a Workers' Youth League summer camp -- radio talk show host Glenn Beck commented: "And then there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth or whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing."

While you were blithely spending the summer with your children swimming and building sand castles at Orchard Beach, riding the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, water-parking, and/or hiking in the wild, a bunch of conservative parents - with support from Beck -- were having their kids schooled in the Constitution and American history at Patriot Camps across the country.

The Constitutional Champions Foundation, a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010 in part with seed money from Glenn Beck, sponsored a series of weeklong "Patriot Camps" all across the country this past summer.

Lauren Bans wrote about her visit to the first Patriot Camp in Paxtang, Pennsylvania in the October issue of GQ. In an article titled "Welcome to Camp Idontwantobama!" Bans pointed out that the camps "stated mission is to teach kids the `truth about our country's founding.'"

Invited by Camp director Deborah Seneca, a.k.a. Miss Deb, Bans went "to see how a camp inspired by Beck's right-wing sermonizing manages to school heartland America on history, culture, religion, values, and three-legged racing, all while maintaining its avowed, and legally required, apolitical stance."

Bans wrote that while she was unequivocally told "that Patriot Camp was definitely, absolutely, exclusively about history.... [she was] simultaneously warned that if - if - a splash of politics seeped into the bug juice, Constitutional Champions wasn't responsible."

It was Beck's "Founders' Friday" segment that ran on his Fox News television program, that apparently inspired Patriot Camp, according to Bans.

In a 2011 clip from Beck's Fox News show, "Miss Deb is sitting in the studio audience, alongside two other Pennsylvania moms, explaining the inspiration behind their camp. `One day,' she begins, `we heard you talk on your radio about Obama organizations doing summer camps, and we thought, `No, we need to do our own!'"

Miss Deb recounted how after a fruitless search for a suitable camp with a "decent American Revolution curriculum," they decided to put one together themselves.  After telling her story, Beck chimed in with "And I started the fund-raiser for this, right? My wife and I wrote a check."

Yvonne Donnelly, Beck's ex-sister-in-law is not only the founder of Constitutional Champions, the umbrella nonprofit that propelled the moms' Patriot Camp nationwide," but she's also the Chair of Beck's 9/12 Project.

According to Bans, Donnelley "adapted the Pennsylvania moms' curriculum into a guidebook for volunteers eager to set up a Patriot Camp in their area." The Patriot Camp Kit - available for $135.99 + shipping and handling -- includes: 3 Patriot Camp Handbooks, 24 "Fun Facts" Bookmarks, 24 Mini American Flags, 24 Wristbands, 2 Sacks,1 King's Crown, 50 Stickers, 24 Constitutional Champions Pencils, 1 Gadsden Flag, and 24 Certificates of Completion.

The Patriot Camp curriculum contains several "learning stations." One of the learning stations is titled "Redistribution of Wealth":

"Divide group in half. One half 'earns' Tootsie Rolls by doing 25 jumping jacks

"The other half is not required to do jumping jacks, but can relax or do what they want

"Teacher suggests that it's "not fair" that one group has no Tootsie Rolls, then instructs 'jumping jack' group to give half of their Tootsie Rolls to the other group to even things up - kids immediately understand that principles behind redistribution of wealth are NOT fair

"Emphasize that America guarantees equal opportunity, not equal results

"Emphasize that it is our own individual responsibility to be charitable, not the government's job to redistribute our wealth, or take our money to give to others."

Bans asks:- "Is Patriot Camp, as one left-leaning blogger for Mother Jones labeled it, an `indoctrination camp'? Or does the political stuff just go right over these kids' heads?"

Despite attempts by teachers to infuse little right wing lecture points into activities, she "witness[es] plenty that suggests they [the kids] aren't absorbing much of anything. At one point during Mr. Alex's intense lecture about God's hand in the drafting of the Constitution, a little girl raised her hand and interrupted him. `Mr. Alex,' she pleaded, `can you do a magic trick to make me disappear?'"

In another instance, Bryce McMinn, the head of Morning Star Pregnancy Services - an "alternative options" center -- was a guest speaker. According to Bans: "Clutching a copy of Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who!, McMinn addresses the kids using the kind of singsongy voice people use to soothe a yapping dog. `This is my son's favorite book. And what does Horton say over and over in the movie and the book? A person's a person... no matter how small. That means that when each and every one of you were just little babies inside Mama's belly, only about the size of my thumb, you had the right to life!

"Now, I mentioned that the right to life is written in our Constitution. Does anyone know where?"

A boy shyly answers, "I think it's in...the front?"

"McMinn trudges on," Bans writes: "'It's in the Fifth Amendment. A portion of the Fifth Amendment says, 'No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.' Believe it or not, there are people who run for all sorts of offices at the local level, the state level, and the federal level who don't understand that even little babies have the right to life."

"'And you want to remember when you vote to only vote for candidates who only support the U.S. Constitution, who support the Declaration of Independence and the right to life, like we do.'"

Last summer there were some 150 camps around the country, many sponsored by local Tea Party-affiliated groups.




Display:
I sometimes get complaints for using the word brainwashing, but IMO this is just another example of how low the dominionists and their ilk will go to control the thinking (and thus behavior) of people.  Such despicable acts deserve the word "brainwashing" with all of it's negative connotations, along with "programming".

The word Cult is also very appropriate.

This also just reminded me of the Hitler Youth.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 12:09:28 PM EST

was exactly what I was thinking about, as well as the horrible children in "1984", who were programmed to set suspicious people on fire and spy on their parents.

by Rey Mohammed on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 07:39:02 PM EST
Parent

I have to think that the kids will mostly resent giving up summer fun for summer school. In one ear, out the other. This doesn't strike me as a winning strategy for getting children to become politically active adults.

by NancyP on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 12:35:33 PM EST
Parent
The brainwashing is pretty powerful stuff, and can reach even the most bored kid.

I'd also add that they watch out for the "backslidden" (bored or not interested) and single them out for additional pressure.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 04:16:03 PM EST
Parent





WWW Talk To Action


A Talk to Action Anthology on Neo-Confederacy, Nullification and Secession (Updated)
Over the past year, a number of posts have addressed the growing Neo-Confederate movement, the advocacy of nullification of federal laws, and even the......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Two Years Ago Today, the 'Least Credible History Book in Print' was Published
This post is an updated version of my post from this same date last year, which, not surprisingly, was titled "One Year Ago Today,......
By Chris Rodda (1 comment)
Geocentrist Creationists Seek To Become The Center Of Attention
There are days when fundamentalist zealots do something so off the wall that I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so I do......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
A Full Quiver of Bad Advice
Mike Huckabee mailed out an open invitation to all Texas pastors inviting them to attend the Texas Renewal Project.  The first 1,000 to respond......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
Opus Dei Priest's Secessionist Roadmap to Theocracy
Fr. C.J. ("John") McCloskey is in many ways the  American face of the secretive Catholic organization, Opus Dei.  He is a former Wall Streeter,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Don't Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates
This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. It expands and updates previous posts about the Neo-Confederate theocrats Michael Peroutka and Pastor David Whitney. Maryland......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Dangerous Defiance: Md. Official Ignores Court Ruling On Sectarian Prayer
I'm not a lawyer, but let me give you a little free legal advice anyway: It's never a good idea to defy a federal......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors'
Austin Ruse doesn't understand why people were so upset when he said on a national radio program that university leaders "should all be taken......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Justice For All: The Supreme Court And The Role Of The Justices' Religious Beliefs
Today's Washington Post has an interesting story about how the personal religious beliefs of members of the Supreme Court might affect their decisions.The question......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
RINO Says His Dino Proves Noah's Flood -- Wha Wha What?
Michael Peroutka, the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party in 2004 and co-founder of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution, made news recently when......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Franklin Graham Slams Obama and Supports Putin in Battle Over Gay Rights
With a column vigorously supporting Vladimir Putin's anti-gay crusade in Russia, Evangelist Franklin Graham finds himself edging closer to inheriting the mantle of Fred......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)
Neo-Confederate Democrats: Oxymorons?
“Many of you may be thinking that I have lost my mind,” Republican Del. Don Dwyer wrote in a March 2013 email and Facebook......
By jhutson (2 comments)
The Catholic Right Star & the Porn Star -- UPDATED
A Duke University freshman best known by her stage name Belle Knox has been much in the news. She was even interviewed by Piers......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Baptists and Bullets in Texas Politics
One thing regional Baptist GOP candidates share in common is a deep affection for gun rights.  The endorsements of pro-gun positions takes precedence over......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
The Battling Noahs & The Titanic Film Comeback of Noah & His Ark
Who would have imagined that in 2014, Noah, yes the Noah of the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark, would be garnering so......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)

America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (1 comment)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (0 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)
Jerry Falwell's Fundamentalist Liberty University Still Getting Hundreds of Millions in Federal Aid
In 2010, Liberty University got more federal funding than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a 2011 Talk To Action story, contributor Bill Berkowitz covered the new trend in which right-wing evangelical colleges and......
Bruce Wilson (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.