Vallejo City Council Race : Democrat-Endorsed Pastor Tied To Anti-Union, Anti-LGBT Movement
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:10:59 AM EST
[update: see end of article for related stories]

'Transformation' leader leads prayers for the destruction of California's labor unions

It is an astonishing story, but the facts are clear:

In an upcoming, deeply divisive November 5th, 2013 election for city council in Vallejo, CA -- across the Bay from LGBT rights-friendly San Francisco -- the Solano County Democratic Party has endorsed a candidate accused of working directly with virulently anti-gay groups and who participates in a local project called "Transformation Vallejo". But there's anti-union animosity in the mix as well:

"Transformation Vallejo" is one of numerous similar church-based political initiatives springing up in cities and towns across America under the guidance of internationally active evangelist Ed Silvoso, whose closest movement colleague has called upon her followers to pray for the destruction of California's biggest labor unions.

One of the closest movement colleagues of Ed Silvoso - a globally influential evangelist serving as the strategic and ideological guru for Transformation Vallejo - is evangelist Cindy Jacobs, who was brought as a special speaker for a July 2009 Vallejo, CA religious rally sponsored by Ed Silvoso - a rally that included future leaders involved with Silvoso's Transformation Vallejo initiative now fielding the controversy-embroiled Solano Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for Vallejo city council pastor Anthony Summers. Below is excerpt from Cindy Jacobs' "California Prayer Guide 2012" :

  • That financial contributions of unions intended to manipulate the voice of the vote would be shut up and shut down
  • That God will break the power and control of these unions off our California government
  • That the financial contributions given by unions to influence the vote will be rerouted for righteousness sake in this upcoming election
  • That union members can break free of the entrapment of the unions political pressure"

The excerpted anti-union prayers above are from "California Prayer Guide 2012", distributed by the ministry of Cindy Jacobs. The guide urged Jacobs' followers to pray, in advance of the 2012 election, against California's five biggest unions:


Ed Silvoso-Backed Anti-Union 'Transformation' in Newark, New Jersey

[below: videos marketed by Ed Silvoso]

The anti-union thrust of Silvoso's numerous "transformation" initiatives is on display in Newark, NJ - which Ed Silvoso's ministry touts as a shining example of "transformation" in action. In late 2010, despite Newark police and firefighter union lawsuits filed to stop the mass layoffs of public safety workers, Newark mayor Cory Booker, who was strongly backed by Ed Silvoso's Transformation Newark effort, fired 167 of Newark's police officers.

While Transformation Newark videos subsequently claimed Newark church members were effectively reducing crime through prayer and held up Newark as a "model" for ailing American cities, in 2011 crime in Newark skyrocketed 71 percent.

By November 2012, tensions between mayor Booker - who has since moved on to a United States Senate seat, and Newark union leaders had deteriorated the the point where a surprise Cory Booker move to pack the Newark City Council led to an incident in which Newark's SEIU Local 617 union President Rahaman Muhammad was doused with pepper spray.

'Transformation' Comes To Vallejo

At the center of the Vallejo, CA controversy is Vallejo pastor Anthony Summers, currently running for Vallejo City Council. Summers has been publicly accused of actively partnering with anti-LGBTI California groups, such as the Pacific Justice Institute and the Capitol Resource Institute, to block an anti-bullying initiative in Vallejo Public Schools in 2009.

But Summers is also an enthusiastic participant in the effort known as Transformation Vallejo, which is so directly and heavily under the inspiration of international evangelist Ed Silvoso that the Transformation Vallejo website features free PDF downloads of four of Silvoso's copyrighted books and features "discipleship" courses based on Silvoso's writing.

One of those four books is Transformation: Change The Marketplace and You Change The World, in which Silvoso paints labor unions as a malevolent force that helped keep the U.S. state of Hawaii liberal:

"Hawaii, one of the most alluring and hospitable American states, has scored a number of negative "firsts". The first abortion clinic opened in Honolulu in the '70s. The first homosexual marriage initiative was introduced there... Aided by strong unions, it has had continuous left-of-center administrations since it became a state in the 1950s--a string unbroken until a 2002 upset election." -- page 31, Transformation

Silvoso went on to portray corporations as plants to be gently nurtured (p. 106), and put forth the vision of contented, non-unionized college students working at McDonalds, flipping hamburgers to the glory of God (p. 101):

"Imagine now a college student serving a hamburger at McDonalds unto the glory of God. Visualize a maid cleaning rooms and making beds in a hotel unto the glory of God.

Silvoso's vision, which all "labor is worship" and corporate CEOs are "marketplace ministers", foresees a benevolent economic authoritarianism in which church authority becomes fused with corporate financial power. In his book "Anointed For Business", Silvoso calls Jesus a "Profitable Entrepeneur" and declares, "Jesus tunic was seamless, which made it the first-century equivalent of an Armani suit."  

In ideological and intellectual terms, Transformation Vallejo - whose courses on "discipleship" are based almost wholly on Ed Silvoso's writing - is almost wholly an outgrowth of Silvoso's vision, and pastor Anthony Summers is so deeply enmeshed in Silvoso's Transformation Vallejo project that he is one of the three central characters featured in a 1/2-hour special Silvoso-sponsored video, "Transformation in Vallejo", touting the Silvoso-inspired effort.

Other ideological contours of Silvoso's worldview are on display in his 2007 book Transformation, which is being distributed for free by Transformation Vallejo:

"The discipling of nations is our primary task on Earth...  To disciple someone means to turn that person into a follower of the teachings you espouse... The Romans "discipled" nations by conquering and imposing on them Pax Romana. Lenin and his followers "discipled" Russia and the Soviet Union by molding in a regimented and all-encompassing way the lives of millions with Communist philosophy. Mao did the same in China, the largest nation on earth. Militant Muslims actively take over nations and disciple them a la Ayatollah Khomeini; and even though they do not use the term "disciple", they are making entire populations into followers -disciples- of Mohammad." -- page 42, Transformation - Change The Marketplace And You Change The World by Ed Silvoso (2007, Gospel Light books)

"As soon as the now ex-gay man came up from the waters [baptism], he was struck by the power of God, evicting the demonic forces that had controlled him for so long and rewiring his psyche correctly to enable him to feel like a man again." - Transformation, page 167

Silvoso's ministry markets identically branded "Transformation" videos showing the "transformation" local initiatives sponsored by Silvoso's ministry across the United States and the globe. Titles of these videos include:

  • Transformation in Uganda
  • Transformation in Paranaque City & the Philippines
  • Transformation in El Cereso Prison, Mexico
  • Transformation in Witbank, South Africa
  • Transformation in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Transformation in Sentul City & Jakarta
  • Transformation in Middleburgh, South Africa
  • Transformation in Newark, New Jersey
  • Transformation in Hawaii
  • Transformation in Vallejo

In Transformation Vallejo, trailers of which are posted by Ed Silvoso's ministry on Youtube, and which is currently sold by both Ed Silvoso's ministry and pastor Anthony Summers, the video shows Vallejo businessmen Michael Brown and Anthony Mitchell, identified as "marketplace ministers", striding side by side with pastor and Vallejo City Council candidate Anthony Summers, who is identified as a "pulpit minister" who will, along with the others, "bring transformation to out city".

Michael Brown, pastor Anthony Summers' current employer, was one of the featured speakers at Ed Silvoso's 2013 International Transformation Network / "Transform Our World" conference in Hawaii.

[videos, below: for an appreciation of the ideological extremity of the global charismatic Christian movement behind Transformation Vallejo, known as the New Apostolic Reformation, consider the following two short video excerpts, from Ed Silvoso's 2008 annual International Transformation Network conference in Argentina (which since 2009 has been held near Honolulu. Hawaii).

In the first video, Ed Silvoso encourages his followers to exterminate, like "rats", their opponents.

In the second, Cindy Jacobs prophesies their movement will take all the "nations of the earth" and asks her audience to bring "idols" and "witchcraft items" from their homes, for a special mass-burning ceremony. Jacobs also predicts that, one day, Christian will become as wealthy as "those Jews" and in a mass-exorcism ceremony casts out spirits of "homosexuality, bisexuality, and perversion".]

related stories

Anti-Gay Christians Target Vallejo, CA Government, With Democratic Party Help (, Bruce Wilson, 10/22/2013)

Political Notebook: Vallejo pastor, LGBT residents clash over city council race (Bay Area Reporter, Matthew S. Bajko, 10/31/2013)

Get Straight Or Just Die (Vallejo Independent Bulletin, Marc Garman, 09/19/2013)

Anthony Summers Responds (Vallejo Independent Bulletin, Marc Garman and Anthony Summers, 09/23/2013)

October 19, 2013 Solano County Democrats meeting concerning the endorsement of the candidacy of pastor Anthony Summers (video, ~1 hour)

At the 2:18 mark:
"58 high ranking army officers in the Phillipines were introduced to a Transformation teaching based on the Purpose Driven book - Purpose Driven Life book. 17 generals received the lord and one of those generals who received the Lord in April was appointed the national chief of police in September, that's just a few months later. And one of the first orders that he signed was that the 184,000 police officers in the Philippines, that's entire police officer of a nation, should undergo transformation training within 6 months or be fired." edded

by Villabolo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:38:18 PM EST
I checked local media in the Philippines - the program Silvoso described was real, though I couldn't tell if was as extensive as Silvoso claimed or not.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:57:34 PM EST
are there any other nations in which the Apostolic network has comparable influence?

by Villabolo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:14:19 PM EST
...Nigeria, possibly Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo...

Ascertaining degrees of influence is very difficult. But the movement has considerable influence in these nations. China is a long-term project too, I would add.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:25:56 PM EST

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