Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

Archive for August 9th, 2010

A Quebec Dentist, some rope, (no water?), his 10-year old son, and why “estranged”? Mom called the Police….

leave a comment »

Yeah, the real problem with this boy was his absent father — especially when he went to visit him on a certain weekend, possibly (court case not documented — it sounds like a weekend visitation scenario)

“Boy found bruised, dehydrated, after being bound for more than 36 hours…”

This one reminds me of the Cabrillo case in Maryland? except that in this case, the boy was rescued in time.

QUEBEC – A 42-year-old dentist was found unfit to stand trial Monday in connection with the alleged confinement and beating of his 10-year-old son.

The man was arrested last week after police found his son bound, bruised and dehydrated in the accused’s Quebec City residence.

Police believe the boy was tied up for more than 36 hours in a room with fabric-covered windows.

The father was charged with unlawful confinement, aggravated assault and violating Article 215 of the Criminal Code, which requires parents or guardians to provide necessities for children under their care.

He was also charged with assaulting a police officer and obstruction of justice.

Since his arrest, the man has refused to eat, drink or talk, and a psychological report tabled in court Monday deemed him unfit to stand trial.

Crown prosecutor Nathalie Leroux said the accused is shut down and unable to communicate or understand the proceedings.

The court ordered the accused to be treated for 30 days by a medical team at a Quebec City psychiatric hospital.

The treatment can be extended for another 30 days if the accused is not yet fit to stand trial.

After that, Leroux said the Crown will continue to monitor the man’s health until found fit and tried.

The accused’s name cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the young victim.

Police were called to the man’s residence on Aug. 1 after the boy’s mother expressed concerns she had not heard from either her ex-husband or son for several days.

The child was discovered with his hands and his feet tied together. Despite being weak and dehydrated, the boy was deemed healthy enough to be given to his mother.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Thank God they gave him to her. Will supervised visitation be ordered now? Or will this boy get a break from the shock of watching — in ANY situation — his former captor, to whom he is (apparently — it doesn’t say stepson) biologically tied also?  Should any child have to see any parent who does that to him, ever again (including with a 3rd party there?)  If so, on whose agenda?

In the United States, the law says one thing and the practice is the opposite, which is why there are websites should this one would qualify for (and may be on, even)

76 Dastardly Dads – USA – by State/County – Febr. 2010 list,

only those with apparent custody, visitation, child support issues

No one should ever have to make — let alone read — lists like this.  There are great Dads in this country and Canada, and I know many of them.  At least I think they’re great.  Then again, no one should have to read about incidents like the Quebec dentist and wonder whether that was THEIR family dentist, or a pediatric dentist, either.  Then again — no 10 year old should ever have to figure out the idea of “Dad” and have images like those he just endured.   —

This websites, and others who link to it or notice these things (which hit too close to home for some of us) are not receiving federal grants or private foundation funding to declare a CRISIS IN FATHERLESSNESS and create, in effect, to remedy this, a virtual “shadow” court system to counteract the fact-finding and fact-to-law process that these courts are for.  When the U.S. President is sworn in, He represents the Executive Branch.  A  representative of the Judicial Branch administers the Oath of office and there IS no single person, in that process, representing the “head of the Legislative Branch.”  its importance is signified by the President having to swear to uphold the Constitution

Each president recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Luckily, George Orwell’s premise was not built into this document, that:

All animals are equal


some animals are more equal than others.”

(hover cursor over link – text applies today)

Actually, it wasn’t luck, but intention.

Reflecting on this:


We would do well to re-read Animal Farm and remember that stupidity  — and the cruelty that goes with the above belief, unchecked, and away from the document embodying principles about humanity that, forgotten, will evaporate.  Also, a populace that doesn’t read, practice and guard its constitution and civil rights — whether in exchange for comfort, or out of intimidation — is on the slippery slope to losing them.

While this is Canada, it has clearly adopted Stories from our family law system, originating in apparently Los Angeles County Courthouse decades ago, and other Stories promoted in Washington, D.C.

These stories say that MALE animals are MORE equal than FEMALE and particularly when they have sired someone.  That’s the “fatherhood” “healthy marriage” response to both feminism (itself a response to perceived oppression within the family) to laws against violence towards women (which are responsible for why I and all my immediate family members are alive today — without them, they wouldn’t be; I’d have had no escape).

I had intended this post to be simply an anecdote about the Quebec Incidence, and the next article that came to mind was “The ManKind Project” which is to toughen up the warrior side of males (and resulted in one teen suicide in Houston, 2007).  Pulling on that thread, we find a boiling mixture of megachurch anti-gay activism — reaching, at last count to South Africa and Uganda, and well-funded (including by grants from the U.S. government) VERY right-wing religious groups pushing their propaganda worldwide, including to countries which believe homosexuality deserves the death penalty.    This not being quite “PC,” SOME of the major evangelists (Rick Warren, Joyce Meyers) — but not ALL — distance themselves.

It’s the “not all” which we need to worry about and act on.  It’s quite possible that within a generation there will not be a safe place for a young person to determine their identity without picking a hyperinflated stance on their sexuality (macho/feminine — or gay/lesbian) or anything else.  These are fighting times.

I appreciate strong, self-confident men, and am heterosexual, female, and have my own strengths.  I like men’s ability to detach and separate — but it can go to extreme.  I like MY ability to integrate and cross topics — but (today in particular) it too can go to extremes.  When the U.S. population is about 51% female, and the Congress, nothing close; when the government policies are pushed, (sold) funded, bought (including who gets elected, in great part) by astounding wealth, who then funds evaluations of their own projects — often on US — then – there has to be SOMETHING that the barely surviving can do to smarten up, free up some time, detox their personal (first) then family (2nd) then immediate community( 3rd) selves from the Giant Social Services Squid.

Food, Housing, Self-defense, Education, Purposes in life, settling our own differences — THINKING — and did I mention medium of exchange?  How hard can it be to figure out those, with some common vision, and locally?  I already blogged here on  how  — and why (money, why else?)  — Canada tried to shut down a competent, community-serving, self-sufficient raw-milk dairy farmer, and how milk (let alone pasteurized/cooked) disproportionately  hurts certain ethnic groups..  This is a family law blog, not a health foods blog.  That account (“Milk Sucks” posts) was my version of Animal Farm.  Wake up!  Unless you prefer a theocracy which takes its “hate-the-other” policy to the ends of the earth at your expense, and only stops when “outed” in Uganda

That boy, above, would’ve died if his mother had not had primary physical  custody (I believe — facts not out yet) and called the police.  Or if the police had blown her off, as they do some Moms (Jessica Gonzales comes to mind). . . . .

Let’s keep it real, and I recommend forcing the U.S. government 100% out of the psychology / education process, which they have flunked, repeatedly — at our expense.  And guarding against theocracy, which is basically assigning valiues to all of us.  We’re going to have to pull another Declaration of Independence — recalling those principles — and in order to do that, will have to restructure our livelihoods, and most importantly, stop showing up at the family courthouses and begging for equity, justice, or law — get real!

I’m going to add “ANIMAL FARM” to my blogroll.  Search “George Orwell” on this site — I’ve blogged him before…

Was this part of the toughen-up initiation philosophy for young boys?

This is from Houston 2007, and apparently a well-meaning family let a certain group mentor their son for a weekend. Please put both these articles next to future “there’s a crisis in fatherlessness” literature that comes your way, and it most certainly will, from any number of information streams (courts, child support agencies, initiatives, nonprofits, faith-based community groups, and of course the U.S. Congress/Executive Branch (collaborating) and through them, into the Family Courts. Through the “access/visitation” funds. However I’m not blogging on that here, today — this is enough for one (female) stomach — mine. I haven’t, FYI, been able to safely hear from my own daughters for a very long time, and it’s been made plenty clear to me by family (of origin) (by actions timed to my attempts to do so, or confront this situation) what’s at risk if I push the issue.

COVER STORY: The ManKind Project:

HOUSTONPRESS 2007 Chris Vogel.

The ManKind Project is an international nonprofit organization that claims to offer men training: how to be accountable for yourself, how to express yourself, how to learn that being a man in today’s world is okay. Men pay hundreds of dollars to attend a weekend initiation retreat, during which they engage in rituals – many in the nude – and delve into men’s most intimate and personal issues.

Many men who attend the weekend swear the program changed their lives for the better. But not all. The Scinto family, who filed the lawsuit, claim their son attended the retreat in 2005, came home, and two weeks later took his own life because he could not handle the psychological stresses placed upon him during the weekend.

The family began investigating and discovered an underworld of critics who feel this self-help program – where men must sign confidentiality contracts and liability waivers to attend – has the potential to do harm. Critics, including the Scinto family, claim the organization appears to practice psychology without a state license, targets vulnerable members of 12-step recovery groups, and has a poor vetting system with which to determine who is and who is not capable of dealing with the program.

With all its confidentiality agreements, The ManKind Project is shrouded in mystery and secrecy. In this week’s feature, “Weekend Warriors,” we chronicle the Scinto family’s attempts to pull back the veil and show a side of The ManKind Project that’s not seen in the organization’s promotional films, two of which you can view below. — Chris Vogel

(note — a lively set of comments, about 75. I didn’t read them)

Warren Throckmorton, “College Psychology Professor

I found Throckmorton looking up something else. Besides the unique name, he shows up as:

About Dr. Warren Throckmorton

Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He is the producer of the critically acclaimed documentary, I Do Exist, regarding sexual orientation. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. Over 150 newspapers have published his columns.

{{Underlined fields overlap with the Family Law arena. I believe — but am not sure — that Grove City College may be libertarian in origin, not taking federal funding in order to maintain their independence from government. However, my memory may be of a different college}}

Commentary on this New Warrior Training of the “MKP” being similar to shamanistic rituals:

Mankind Project & New Warriors Training Adventure

I became interested in the Mankind Project as the result of reading a Houston Press article regarding the death of Michael Scinto. The article, by Chris Vogel, detailed practices at the MKP’s signature program, the New Warriors Training Adventure. I had heard of the New Warriors Training Adventure at a NARTH conference in 2003 where it was being recommended by various NARTH leaders. However, some of the ministry leaders there did not believe it should be pursued because of reports of nudity involved in New Warriors Training Adventure.

In reading MKP materials, I have been struck by the similarity to shamanistic, pagan and Native American practices. For instance, many pagan and shamanistic rituals begin with the need to create a ritual space via a circle. MKP is no different in that the “container” is created for the same purpose. For instance, the MKP-International PIT 5.2 Facilitator Manual provides instructions for “creating the container” or the ritual space for the weekly meetings.

to teach men how to create and to hold sacred, ritual space. To form a strong and safe container that welcomes ALL of each man, and encourages him to be fully present, and to speak his truth.

Sacred space is set with drumming, music, candles and “smudging.” In smudging, incense, sage or other herbs are used to create an aura of smoke around each man to help create the sacred area for the MKP rituals. According to the manual, smudging is done

to purify and cleanse the energy field that you or I may have brought with us. Smudging creates a sacred space for the group, and it becomes a way we can leave behind the energy of the outside world.

Following the creation of the ritual space, the MKP manual requires an invocation. In MKP, the participants “call in the seven directions.” Those familiar with pagan or earth-based spirituality will recognize this process. Sometimes, it is called, “Calling the Watchtowers” and involves summoning various spirits or energies from the earth.

I just found out what “NARTH” is, at this site.

New Warriors is recommended by some who attempt to assist people change their sexual orientation via healing childhood wounds, or reparative therapists (e.g., National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)) as a means of getting in touch with lost masculinity. Richard Cohen, in his new book Gay Children, Straight Parents, published by Christian publisher Intervarsity Press, recommends New Warriors as a “powerful life changing weekend.” If the Houston Press article is accurate, such recommendations seem misguided for anyone, especially evangelical Christians.

Healing masculinity is a bit pricey with the weekend costing $650, plus more cash for weekly group sessions. And some believe the participants are really getting a form of therapy.

“What it boils down to,” says Rick Ross, head of the Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey, which studies cults, groups and movements, “is that they are doing group therapy, although they won’t admit to that, and they are not qualified to do group therapy. They are not licensed and they are not accountable.”

WHAT, exactly, was that 42 yr old Quebec Dentist allegedly doing to his son, and why?

Norris Lang, who chairs the anthropology department at the University of Houston and is a former therapist, agrees. He took part in an initiation retreat in 1997 and then attended several Integration Group meetings before deciding to leave the organization.

“Some of the exercises that they had us engage in,” he says, “were fairly traumatic and normally, as a psychotherapist, I would have only engaged in some of those activities…in the security of a hospital or psychiatric facility. If you get somebody to get in touch with their feelings from, say, 30 years ago, a time when they were abused as children, that can be fairly dangerous territory for an unprofessional. It’s kind of group therapy without any professionals involved.”

From what I have seen thus far, I would agree that more oversight would be beneficial. It certainly looks like attempts at therapy to me. For one Houston man, it was bad therapy. Michael Scinto killed himself after attended a New Warriors session and his family is suing the Houston area branch, alledging (sic) that New Warriors’ ‘ experiences led to his demise.

In 2008, this reports that the MKP settled with the family and required — MKP-Houston at least — to screen the process better.

And a reader [of the Houston 2007 Vogel article] acknowledges that The Mankind Project grew out of the 90s men’s movement, and compares it to an initiation in Boy Scouts..

I experienced the MP training some years ago. It reminded me of my initiation into the Order of the Arrows while in Boy Scouts. I was terrified as a young boy by men with painted faces dressed up as Indians who yelled at me as I desperately held onto a rope while being led into the woods blindfolded. That earlier experience made the MP initiation less strange to me and actually kind of fun. Both the Promise Keepers and the MP both grew out of the ’90s men’s movement and although very different in their philosophies,** they arose from a real need. I feel if Michael’s family and friends would shift a little of their energy from tearing down to considering what is attempting to be built by the MP experiment, they could utilize their findings in a way that makes sense to them and can still honor the life of Michael Scinto.

{{** Promise Keepers has the Christian religious bonding, or at least incorporates it; the M(K)P pulls from other religious traditions which Promise Keepers wouldn’t endorse. From a woman’s point of view, it seems that the MKP wanted their version of the same set of feelings…}}

Obviously parts of the MP organization are working, and though some pieces may be restrictive, narrow or broken, so are the men in this country, and we are in desperate need of some large-scale help.

Crosby Bean (link to that comment)

Geesh, how did we get here from “The Quebec Dentist”? Except that father’s cruelty,

and imagine — no one the boy could call out to help for. There was no healing circle or time-limit for him — only the fact that his alarmed mother called the police, who then rescued him! He is only 10!!

It’s not likely that we can find a real DMZ between the reactionary anti-gay groups (religious based, mainly) and the pro-gay LGBT. Certainly not in the public schools, the courts, or even the churches.


This next section comes from a site called “exgaywatch.” I hope readers can look at it (back to 2007) because in fact I’ve come to believe that a lot of the “Family Court Crises” and the “fatherhood movement” including the huge funding through HHS (which I obviously track) — may have its source in these fertile grounds, and bitter divides.

And it MAY result in the exaggerated masculinity that’s as cruel to perceived gays as it is to women. Anything somewhat feminine is up for attack. This excerpt I’m about to paste is from the Southern Poverty Law Center (Dec. 2007) reporting on some of the harm of forcible conversion, shaming, exorcism, etc. I’m going to tie it in to the Marriage Movement, in at least Arizona. Besides handling the issue of “spirituality” (or at least, it comes up), they converge in at least one African country, Uganda:

SPLC Intelligence Report On The Ex-Gay Movement
December 12th, 2007 David Roberts 14 comments

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has posted an excellent, detailed report on the state of the ex-gay, or “sexual reorientation therapy” movement. It touches on most of the important issues of concern, and should be a catalyst for more debate.

Let’s take the following as a foundation for our view of sexual reorientation therapy:

Reparative or sexual reorientation therapy, the pseudo-scientific foundation** of the ex-gay movement, has been discredited by virtually all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations.*** The American Psychological Association, for instance, declared in 2006: “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH [the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality] and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.” [emphasis added]

They correctly recognize that ex-gay ministries paint only a grim, distorted view of anyone who might be gay. This tactic has been used in the past to discredit the lives of others and it was no more accurate then than now — though unfortunately it can be quite effective.

**”pseudo-scientific. WOW — shades of “parental alienation” now?
*** like that’s going to stop the flood of religious zeal….

Focus on the Family/Promise Keepers are notoriously weak on domestic violence. It’s handled by silence. That’s how it’s handled, basically. I have a book that tells of the influence of some of these mega-churches, specifically “Dr. Dobson.” I have run across this so many times in church circles, I no longer attend church. I believe that these groups attract people with serious needs, among others, and that like The Mankind Project, someone needs to hold them accountable, by suing or removing tax-exempt staus, for the deaths and devastation caused by men with a chip on their shoulder taking it out on someone else because the theology (as practiced!) justifies this. It’s a male bond to “diss” the females.

National Association of Marriage Enhancement (Arizona), a grants recipient, had to do a quick back-track when they were associated with the Uganda’s harsh Anti-Gay laws:

The National Association of Marriage Enhancement
13422 N Cave Creek Rd, Ste 3
Phoenix, AZ 85022
05/16/06 – $5,000.00 – Cash – Filed: 06/30/06
10/17/07 – $2,000.00 – Cash – Filed: 06/16/08
From: Anti-Gay & Anti-Choice Organizations
Last updated: Jul 26, 2010


From “The Lavendar Liberal” on N.A.M.E., Feb 2010

Since October of last year, Uganda has been the focus of international attention due to a proposal in their Parliament which would ban homosexual behavior of any kind via the death penalty for HIV people who engage in homosexual behavior and life in prison for others who attempt such behavior.

If they’re going to go “all Biblical” on us, then they should also stone heterosexual men for committing adultery.

President Jacob Zuma’s Love Child His Personal Business, Says ANC

Tue Feb 2 06:26:32 2010 by GD ( Leave a comment )


By Madhuri Dey
zumaJohannesburg, South Africa, Feb 2, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The South African President Jacob Zuma has been saved from the possibility of an ugly discussion over his love child by the African national Congress, the ruling party in the country. In a press statement released by the party, the leaders commented that they did not want any discussion or storm brewing on something that is strictly in the realm of the personal life of the President and the woman involved. The African National Congress also stated that the decision of two adults to be engaged in a consensual relationship is in no way the concern of the society.

The South African President is married to five women already. The child that he fathered out of wedlock with Sonono Khoza took the count of his children up to 20. According to South African customs, he paid compensation for the pregnancy. Of course, the emergence of this news has added fuel to the already raging controversy around the President’s sex life. Sometime back, he had been grilled on a rape charge, from which he obtained acquittal, but admitted that he did have sex without protection.

The leaders of the opposition condemned the president’s promiscuous nature, claiming that an already married man should not be sleeping around, more so because he is the President of a country battling against AIDS and HIV. Some of the leaders claimed that he should be seeing a doctor for his sex addiction, and that his actions should befit those of the president of a country and not a “gigolo.” According to them, such behavior from the President of the country not only sets a bad example, but also presents an ugly picture.

So what if he’s a Zulu polygamist and this is traditional?

Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist who practices polygamy and currently has three wives, a fiancée, and 20 children, was criticized for setting a bad example in a country where large numbers of people are infected with HIV/Aids, reports The (Thai) Independent.

In a statement, Zuma said: “I have over the past week taken time to consider and reflect on the issues relating to a relationship I had outside of wedlock… It has put a lot of pressure on my family and my organisation, the African National Congress. I deeply regret the pain that I have caused to my family, the ANC, the Alliance and South Africans in general.”

The American-based (well-funded) evangelists are going to get to him sooner or later. . . . .

Family LifeChange Center

LET’s take a look at the North America / South Africa connection here. Talk about “global vision.” I hope they keep their books separate —

nthony sits on the Board of The National Centre for Fathering SA, along with David Molapo and other influential men of South Africa.

In response to the dramatic trend towards fatherlessness in America, Dr. Ken Canfield founded the National Centre as a non-profit, scientific and
education organization. Today, the Centre provides practical, research-based training and resources that equip men in virtually every fathering
situation to be the involved fathers their children need.
The National Centre for Fathering in South Africa has partnered and secured the full rights for Africa and Southern Africa. Family LifeChange Centre SA (Dr Anthony van Tonder)
is partnering as one of the South African Registered non-profit organisations to raise funding to translate all material into South African content
and also to enable the fathers in less fortunate circumstances to impact their communities. The American Centre reaches more than one million
dads annually through seminars, small-group training, the [Students] program, their daily [radio program] , and
award-winning website and weekly email…. we would like to make the same impact in South Africa. Our long-term goal is to create a culture of Championship Fathering by enlisting 10% of dads to make a commitment to fulfil the tenets of Championship Fathering.
By supporting the NCFSA in our efforts to inspire and equip dads:
Funding: Make a Tax deductible donation to support our work: (Certificates will be issued to all donors) The National Centre for Fathering in America operates on a $ 2.5 million annual budget with support from individuals,
foundation and corporate grants, and earned income from contracts and resource sales. We are launching in SA on the
30th and 31st July 2010 in Pretoria with budget requirements of R1 850 000. We would love to get to all the Provinces, however we will get to them as the funding allows, so we at Family LifeChange Centre would like to raise R370 000 towards this project. We are appealing to all our friends to open the attachment and forward all your details and donation to the bank details on the document.

I wonder if in the U.S. they would be culturally sensitive to, say, the Bill of Rights, or in South Africa to, say, the women? Or the nonPentecostal, non-fundamentalist, non-Christian worldviews.. Whaddaya think? The finances seem real organized (I deleted some of the active links. I told you someone was going to get to Zuma sooner or later in his country . . . .


Back to the OTHER rabidly activist, anti-gay evangelistic group, a different one, in Uganda, and though getting US gov’t contracts, associating with the likes of this pastor Ssempa:

One of the chief supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been Martin Ssempa, a pastor in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala and well-known among Western evangelicals. Rev. Ssempa this week has called for a “million man march which he hopes will bring large crowds out to support the harsh legislation. In addition, Ssempa has organized several news conferences in order to rally support among Ugandans for the bill.

Dr. Martin Ssempa, a pastor at Makerere Community Church, has received an award for his fight against homosexuality.

Ssempa and his wife Tracey received the plague from Apostle Alex Mitala, the overseer of the National Fellowship of Born Again Churches in Uganda.

This was during the “Great Marriage Celebration” organised by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement in conjunction with the National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches in Uganda at Nakivubo Stadium over the weekend.

[Mitala] said homosexuality was one way of making the world extinct. …

Ssempa thanked the Christians for standing by him and said he was encouraged by their support to continue with his campaign.

He proposed the establishment of a national marriage alliance to counter homosexuality.

N.A.M.E. has ties to a very controlling church, the Assembly of God (my personal opinion) and through Godzich (in whose name the nonprofit is) to right-wing AZ GOP and (as I say on the front page post, “Read this First — REALLY” (title approximate) — to the Unification Church, or at least by association with Mark R. Anderson, reportedly an adherent, and who has abeen funneling funds to N.A.M.E. (who made political contributions as above,e tc.).

Now they have to CYA over Ssempa:

UNBELIEVABLE: And here’s another prominent megachurch REFUSING to cut its ties with Ssempa, on which basis the Las Vegas, South Nevada Health District severs its ties with the church over HIV testing. THis site has to be read to be believed . . . . . “The Box Turtle Bulletin”

Some evangelists and megachurch leaders are dodging for cover. Others aren’t. And some are in public but not in private. It seems Professor Throckmorton (you have to love such a name, sounds like it’s straight out of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Or, Dickens….) has been doing his homework — they keep quoting him..

Nevada Health Officials Sever Ties with Megachurch Over Martin Ssempa

Jim Burroway

July 13th, 2010

Top: Canyon Ridge Community Church in Las Vegas Bottom: Canyon Ridge’s “dearly beloved family and friend” wants to kill you for being HIV-positive.

As we reported over the past month, Canyon Ridge Christian Church, the Las Vegas megachurch which has been providing financial support for Uganda’s “kill-the-gays bill” cheerleading pastor Martin Ssempa, was found to be simultaneously attempting an outreach program to Las Vegas’s LGBT and HIV/AIDS constituencies by being a test site for National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

In other words, the Las Vegas church that wanted to test you for HIV, is the same church whose strategic partner and “dearly beloved friend and family” wants to put you to death if you are HIV-positive. Despite widespread condemnation for their conflicting stance, Canyon Ridge defended Ssempa, saying they “do not believe Martin Ssempa to be the man the media and others have portrayed him to be.” We, who have been following Ssempa’s role closely through every twist and turn of Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, have countered by skipping how Ssempa was portrayed in the media, and instead reminded viewers of how Ssempa portrayed himself directly. That appears to have made no impression on Canyon Ridge’s leaders.

Southern Nevada Health District, which partnered with Canyon Ridge for National HIV Testing Day, however has announced that they are severing ties with Canyon Ridge

And more on this site – evangelists are splitting down th emiddle.

Willow Creek Association’s Ties To Martin Ssempa Revealed While Las Vegas Church Continues to Hold Its Ground

Jim Burroway

July 2nd, 2010

In an article appearing on Salon this morning, Dr. Warren Throckmorton explored the close working relationship between Las Vegas-based Canyon Ridge Christian Church and Ugandan “Kill-the-gays” Pastor Martin Ssempa. And in pulling on that thread, Throckmorton discovered a much larger relationship between the Willow Creek Association and their East African hero:

Just consider the case of the Willow Creek Association, which bills itself as “the most influential ministry to evangelical pastors in the U.S.” and boasts “more than 11,000 Member Churches in 35 countries,” is now distancing itself from Ssempa. (Canyon Ridge is part of the WCA network.)

WCA’s signature leadership training events are conducted in “more than 250 cities in 50 countries each year” — including Uganda, where the group partnered with Ssempa in November 2009. In other words, as [Saddleback Church pastor Rick] Warren was publicly severing his ties with Ssempa, the WCA was strengthening theirs. In 2007, for example, the WCA bestowed its award on Ssempa’s church for its work in AIDS prevention.

The Willow Creek Association is a huge group of 11,000 contemporary Evangelical churches in 35 countries that are affiliated with the pioneering namesake megachurch near Chicago. Throckmorton reports that as of Thursday, WCA had apparently just discovered that Ssempa has been openly advocating the killing of LGBT people in Uganda, and so they decided to quietly step back a little:

On Thursday, Steve Bell, the organization’s executive vice president, told me that Ssempa is no longer affiliated with their leadership summit in Uganda. Regarding the 2007 award, Bell wrote:

Willow Creek Association (WCA) was unaware of Martin Ssempa’s views regarding the criminalization of homosexuality when the honorable mention award was presented to him at the 2007 Global Leadership Summit. Had his views been known, particularly his prior support of the death penalty related to the AHB [Anti-Homosexuality Bill], he would not have been considered as a candidate for the award.

And yet, through WCA member Canyon Ridge Christian Church, WCA continues to maintain an arms-length relationship with Ssempa. Throckmorton reports that WCA has no plans to sever its ties with Canyon Ridge, despite the financial assistance Canyon Ridge pays to Ssempa to staff his church in Kampala. And as we learned yesterday, Canyon Ridge is not only standing by their man, but they are also abetting his cause by actively propagating Ssempa’s intentionally false description of what is actually in the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Canyon Ridge and Ssempa insist that the death penalty applies only to those who rape the handicapped and child molestation, but we conclusively demonstrated yesterday that the bill still includes the death penalty for LGBT people with AIDS, who have a consensual relationship with a disabled person, or who is a “serial offender” — a category which, on close examination, can include just about anyone.

This is an important point to keep in mind. Over the past year, we have seen the Evangelical world divide itself neatly into two camps: Those who vigorously oppose the bill and call it evil, and those who attempt to justify it and call it good. Ministries and leaders like Andrew Wommack, WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell, and Cliff Kincaid have staunchly defended the bill and have included this very same misrepresentation of the bill’s death penalty provision as part of their defense. Others, who see the bill as “unjust, extreme and un-Christian” include Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, televangelist Joyce Meyers and, belatedly, Exodus International president Alan Chambers, have clearly read the text of the bill itself and are shocked at its horror. Reading it creates a clear line in the sand: either you condemn the killing of gay people, or you are for it. There is no middle ground. Yet Willow Creek appears to be trying to have it both ways.

But Canyon Ridge, following the path of the former group, has decided to cling fast to their man.

WELL, here is the group in Arizona, the Godziches:

Our Mission:

NAME Centers are springing up all over the nation to fill this huge need created by broke[n] homes and generational vices. Churches implementing NAME Centers train couples to mentor other couples. This is done utilizing NAME’s unique training and certification system to prepare couples to biblically counsel other couples. These couples become the core of the local NAME Center.

{{actually, the pro forma certification for Biblical Training isn’t Biblical! There is — I hope — a difference between Avon, Amway, MLM and God…}}

Who We Are:

Leo Godzich is the founder and president of NAME (the National Association Marriage Enhancement), and the host of the International Marriage Conference as well as being a leading force in the Covenant Marriage Movement. NAME is a network of churches and couples committed to biblical marriage ministry. NAME is presently developing counseling centers in the U.S., Canada, Africa and Australia. Leo is Pastor of Special Projects at Phoenix First Assembly of God (Tommy Barnett, Pastor) in Phoenix, Arizona.


Godzich is the president and executive director of NAME and chairman and founder of the Covenant Marriage Movement. Godzich and NAME’s work on the president’s Healthy Marriage Initiative were featured in a front page Sunday New York Times article earlier this year. “This mandate is not about government intrusion into the institution of marriage, but it is about supporting the dream of the Americans everywhere to have healthy marriages which benefit society, now and for future generations.”

Another Abstinence Group out of Colorado (million$ grants, losing money on them too — I looked at Guidestar — Heading out of Dodge City over Ssempa, too…)


WAIT Training does not affiliate, endorse, associate or partner with anyone seeking to hurt or wound others. Our goals are to impart skills to help ALL individuals have healthy relationships, to LIVE WELL, LOVE WELL and if they choose, to MARRY WELL.

Recent developments in Uganda and around the world associated with Martin Ssempa have caused us to sever all former associations with him.

We have requested he remove all wording on his web site that references our organization. If there are any questions about this, please call Joneen Mackenzie RN, President / Founder of WAIT Training at 720 488 8888 ext 201″AND here is Rick Warren in 2009 (presumably he’s changed since) with a DISTURBING commentary on National Prayer Breakfasts, “The Family” (out of U.S.) and so forth. I would not trouble either myself or this blog with such topics, except that I THINK that this is a main push behind the fatherhood movement in the U.s., which is undermining our Constitution (and has). It’s a religion and it’s not a wise decision. We need to wake up!

What this has to do with a tortured 10 yr old in Quebec, and battered women losing custody in the U.S. — well, I think that we need to “cool the temperature” about being a man, or a woman, or married. The reactionism is simply breeding hate. Demonizing differences.

There are women supporting these movements, but they are not spearheading them. I think we need to think about another arrangement.


The author of the bill is Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, who organizes the Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and has been embraced by the far right in the United States. Journalist Jeff Sharlet, who has chronicled the secretive international fundamentalist Christian organization known as “The Family,” says that Bahati is “a core member” of the group, which has links to prominent U.S. politicians. In his book, Sharlet reveals the effects of some of The Family’s other work in Uganda (p. 328):

Uganda, which following the collapse of Siad Barre’s Somalia became the focus of the Family’s interests in the African Horn, has been the most tragic victim of their projection of American sexual anxieties. Following implementation of one of the continent’s only successful anti-AIDS program, President Yoweri Museveni, the Family’s key man in Africa, came under pressure from the United States to emphasize abstinence instead of condoms. … Meanwhile, Ugandan souls may be more “pure,” but their bodes are suffering; following the American intervention, the Ugandan AIDS rate, once dropping, nearly doubled.

Museveni has allowed Bahati’s bill parliamentary time and given homophobic speeches, warning Ugandan youths that “‘European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa,’ and saying gay relationships were against God’s will.”

Pastor Rick Warren — whom President Obama controversially chose to deliver the invocation at his inauguration — is now refusing to condemn Bahati’s bill, which has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. Ssempa has been welcomed by Warren’s family and made appearances at his church. Newsweek reports that although Warren has distanced himself from Ssempa’s views, he won’t come out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:

The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.

%d bloggers like this: