You Can Scrub, But You Can't Hide -- UPDATED
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 04:07:13 PM EST
Dr. Ergun Caner, the disgraced former Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (affiliated with Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell), has sicked his lawyer on a blogger in an effort to hide a truth that has already been revealed.  

Investigative blogger Jason Smathers originally got the goods and broke the story of how Caner was a prominent member of the fake ex-Muslim terrorist industry which has so infected our public life.  (Other notable fake ex-Muslim terrorists who have been promoted by the Christian Right and who have been presented as authentic experts before military and law enforcement audiences, include Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem.)

Caner's lawyer is now trying to get You Tube to scrub videos Smathers obtained from the U.S. Marines. Smathers points out that Caner has no legitimate claim of ownership of material in a video produced by the federal government.

(Caner's lawyer, David C. Gibbs III, is best known for his role in the Terri Schiavo case.)

Bob Allen of Associated Baptist Press writes:

A Christian blogger has reportedly filed an ethics complaint against a lawyer for claiming ownership of online video he says was obtained legally from the federal government.

Jason Smathers, who began the Witnesses Unto Me blog in the Spring of 2009, posted a series of blogs in 2010 questioning claims by popular evangelical speaker Ergun Caner that he grew up overseas and was trained to be an Islamic terrorist before accepting Christ at age 18.

Smathers tracked down legal documents showing that Caner, author of books including Unveiling Islam who told the conversion story in numerous venues including the Southern Baptist Convention, emigrated to the United States with his family at age 2 and grew up in Ohio in custody of his Lutheran mother after his parents' divorce.

One blog included video of Caner conducting two training sessions on cultural issues for United States Marines in New River, N.C., before they were deployed in 2005. The commanding officer introduced Caner as being born in Istanbul, Turkey.

Allen reports, among other things, that Caner tells the about-to-be-deployed Marines in 2005:  

"We are taught from birth, you are the infidel. You are sons of Satan."  "My madrassa (Muslim school) in Istanbul, Turkey; my madrassa in Cairo, Egypt, there's no question of what the doctrine of jihad was," he continued. "It is only when we come to America and hear westernized Islam we hear that `Oh, Islam means peace.'"

"I was sworn to jihad," Caner told the Marines. "At the age of 9 until I was 18 years old and I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I was sworn to jihad. I followed the protocols. I knew the three waves. I understood what you do before you take the death plunge, as we call it. I understand why the guys were in the bars with the hookers the night before the bombing of 9/11, because, `Eat drink and be merry; tomorrow we are forgiven.'"

As of this writing, you can still see the videos here.

Update [2013-6-19 17:36:20 by Frederick Clarkson]: You Tube has now taken down the Marine videos featuring Caner's claims quoted above, due to Caner's copyright challenge.

Update [2013-6-20 21:13:7 by Frederick Clarkson]: Bob Allen at Associated Baptist Press further reports that Caner has now filed a federal lawsuit against two bloggers who posted the videos. Allen reports:

YouTube removed the videos after Caner filed a takedown notice pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Signed into law by President Clinton in 1998, the act made certain technical amendments to U.S. law to provide appropriate references and links to U.S. treaties. It also added two new prohibitions in Title 17 of the U.S. Code, one on circumvention of technological measures used by copyright owners to protect their works... Caner claims ownership of the videos, which he says are part of a series he titled, “Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Islam” that he delivered at the military’s invitation and for which he was paid as an independent contractor.



Display:
As I wrote once before, this sort of thing -- the "testimony" of supposed "reformed Muslim terrorists" reminds me of the same smoke-and-mirror exploiters who surfaced during the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, making presentations to churches and police departments (and making money and gaining notoriety) claiming that they had taken part or witnesses human sacrifices, baby sacrifices, sexual abuse of children, and other atrocities, but that now that they had been "saved," they were there to tell the truth.

Since some of these idiots also went after Wiccan/Pagan groups, lumping us in with Satanists, there were some very sprightly conversations/arguments about all of this, although since this was before the Internet, it took place in the Letters to the Editor sections of various publications.

We finally managed to make one of the most irritating former sacrificer of lots and lots of people go away when a reader challenged him to turn himself in to law enforcement for the punishment he obviously deserved -- if any of his BS was true.

I read this posting with interest because it shows that opportunists like this always seem ready to jump up and seek to confirm (also for money and/or notoriety) our "worst fears" about the current (and, as it turns out, often imaginary) boogeyman of the day.

People should read this post not only as a cautionary not regarding the current level of Islamophobia, but also as a cautionary tale that should help them look past the inevitable hysterics, myths, and "Showmen" (or Showwomen) of the future when they arise to carry water for bigots and convince more moderate folks that "we must take action now!", the action, of course, being violent and damaging and, in the end, based on a whole lot of nothing.

Thanks for this post, Mr. Clarkson!

by coralsea on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:18:24 PM EST

He was one of the biggest liars on the ex-Satanist circuit. It was a Christian magazine that exposed Mr. Warnke, who was actually a clean-cut community college student at the time he claimed to be involved with Satanism.

by khughes1963 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:14:59 PM EST
Parent
I have to say, it seems like we are going through a different version of the same play, with mostly different actors (although some of the old anti-Satanists that never existed are flogging Islam right now).

by coralsea on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:34:14 PM EST
Parent



Some things about this struck me.

First, since he was paid by the US military for the videos, doesn't that mean that the US government owns them (and from that - the people) and he doesn't have standing to complain?  Don't we the people have something to say about it?  At the least... I would think that only the US military might have the right to complain... and if they've been released by the military to the general public, then his complaints are baseless.

Second, since the videos are evidence of lying (and I think it could be argued since they were done for the US government... to the authorities), couldn't they be posted somewhere so that people could access them - besides places like YouTube?

Third, what about the academic use angle?  Copying and showing videos like that is legal if it's done for educational use (to make that stick, it might have to be associated with an organization - like a school - dedicated to education).  The general public DOES need to be educated about these lies.

I really hate it when the "Good Christian" types use the law to suppress the evidence of just how rotten they really are.  We all need to see that... the general public so that they learn they can't trust the dominionists (especially their claims), and those of us who have been fighting them for years need to see it for encouragement.  When you get inundated with all of the "us poor Christians are being persecuted" and "how good and holy we are and how wicked and evil those Others are", after a while you start doubting yourself and the facts - which I think they count on.  Having the evidence of evil-doing and lying really strengthens one's resolve to resist.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 02:45:49 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Race, Republicans and the Religious Right
The Republicans have a race problem, and by this I don't just mean that racial minorities don't much vote for them, particularly in the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Rev. William Barber on Religious/Political Inclusiveness
A few weeks ago, I posted about the extraordinary oration of Rev. William Barber at Netroots Nation. (A transcript of the speech is now......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Short Takes
Salon.com  Columnist Thomas Frank considers how snark can cut more than one way. What does it mean when being "on the left" is defined......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
David Brat as a "Libertarian Catholic" is an Oxymoron
David Brat, the Tea Party Young Turk who recently shocked the GOP establishment with his primary win over Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is reportedly,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Kountze Cheerleaders Take on the Courts
The entire town of Kountze, Texas is in a frenzy with business banners, suv window paintings and legal action supporting their local cheerleaders. The......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
A Talk to Action Anthology on Neo-Confederacy, Nullification and Secession (Updated)
A number of posts over the past year have addressed the growing Neo-Confederate movement, the advocacy of nullification of federal laws, and even the......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Good Incentives Gone Awry: Kentucky Officials Are Adamant About Propping Up The 'Ark Park'
I've lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
White Hot Controversy for a White Nationalist GOP Candidate
The controversy over Michael Peroutka's theocratic, white nationalist candidacy for county council, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland -- has gotten white hot after he......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Not Just Whistling 'Dixie': Peroutka Stands Up for Southern Secession - UPDATED x2!
Cross-posted from The Huffington Post. Michael Peroutka, the Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County Council, stood up for secession and the white nationalist League......
By jhutson (1 comment)
Short Takes
Pando Daily:  Journalist Mark Ames has published a must-read story about how Reason,the flagship magazine of libertarianism, published a special issue in 1976 promoting......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads - Updated
Cross-posted from The Huffington Post. The head of Maryland's Republican Party, Joe Cluster, has called local candidate Michael Peroutka to the woodshed for a......
By jhutson (3 comments)
Short Takes
Bilgrimage:  Bill Lindsey discusses "an outstanding series of articles" by Frank Cocozzelli here at Talk to Action, originally posted in 2007, about the close......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 1)
In light of the recent US Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby -- which exempts, closely held corporations that invoke "sincerely held......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)

Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (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 (3 comments)
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 (2 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 (1 comment)
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 (0 comments)
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)

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.