Top Ten Posts in 2013

Here are the ten most visited pages on the blog for 2013. Two posts were written prior to 2013 but continue to be quite popular. I designate them in the list below by the year of publication.
1. On The Allegations of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll
2. Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating to Charges of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes to Audience
3. Ingrid Schlueter Resigns from Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy
4.  John Piper Calls Out Famous Guys (Like Mark Driscoll) on Ghostwriting
5. Was the National Rifle Association Started to Drive Out the KKK?
6. A Major Study of Child Abuse and Homosexuality Revisited (2009)
7. Mars Hill Church Alters Statement of Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy
8. Narth Loses Tax Exempt Status
9. Mars Hill Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Source Behind Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter
10. The Trail of Tears Remembered (2011)
Clearly, posts about the controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll and allegations of plagiarism and ghostwriting were popular. With Driscoll’s apology the attention left the issue, even though he did not address several other instances in other books. To some degree, he was probably also aided by Christmas break and the Duck Dynasty hullabaloo. I was surprised that the most popular post about David Barton was about his claim that the National Rifle Association was started to counter the KKK. There are so many other claims that are even more outrageous. As far as I can determine, donations to NARTH are still not deductible. The two posts from past years have consistently shown up on the top ten lists since they were published.
The move to Patheos has been smooth thanks to the great folks there and I want to thank readers for making the switch and welcome all the new readers here.

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Uses Fake George Washington Quote

Phil Robertson is getting all manner of scrutiny these days. Given his high profile and recent controversy over his remarks to GQ, it is understandable that his prior speeches will be examined. In the one below, Robertson appears to advise marriage for young teens. I say appears because I don’t have the entire video. He did however marry his wife when she was 16 and added that one should get parental permission.
Various bloggers (e.g. Rawstory where I saw it first)  have examined Robertson’s dating advice which is just silly if he really means it. I want to call attention to use of a quote falsely attributed to George Washington. At 1:10 into the clip, Robertson says:

The reason you Georgia boys can deer hunt, duck hunt, squirrel hunt, hog hunt, (holding up his Bible) that’s the reason you can do it. What I’m holding in my hand right there. That’d be a Bible. You said, now let me get this right. If it were not for this, you would not hunt here. No sir. Here’s a quote, Georgia. ‘It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.’ George Washington, your first president. You know what they said? Name the capital of our country after him!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBzOjcqWWkA[/youtube]
This quote has been misused frequently over the years and can be traced back at least David Barton’s 1992 book Myth of Separation. Barton took heat over use of such quotes and issued a list of what he called unconfirmed quotes. Nonetheless, those who get their history from Barton, and perhaps Phil Robertson is one of those folks, still use the spurious quotes to bolster their Christian nation view of the Constitution, in this case the Second Amendment. Mount Vernon addresses this particular quote here and even Barton now acknowledges that there is no indication Washington ever said it.
This is another illustration of why getting history right matters. Mr. Robertson has been misinformed by some religious leader who claimed expertise in history. He probably trusted the source because of common religion. As I said in a prior post, evangelicals claim to have a message of love and reconciliation and yet they often mix it up with lots of other messages, based on faulty information, that detract from the core.

A New Front In The Driscoll Plagiarism Wars? Twagiarism

This one is a bit humorous.
Mark Driscoll likes to tweet pithy little tweets to his zillion followers throughout the day. At least someone is tweeting them in his name. Given what we now know, I figure maybe someone at Docent Research Group is helping out. Anyway, just a bit ago, Twitter user Sherideth Smith pointed out that one of Driscoll tweets was actually from Bill Murray.
Note:


In fact, Murray probably heard it from someone who heard it on Tumblr, maybe from this guy.
Louis CK used it too:
https://twitter.com/Louis_CK_Comedy/status/410555944645312513
I suppose if I were Driscoll in this season, I would not try to pass off stuff as mine no matter how innocent it might seem.
Actually, according to this article, passing off other people’s tweets as your own is known as Twagiarism and has ensnared a few folks along the way.  Dreaming of being a Twitter star? Well, I have some advice.

Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping*

*Source unknown, but I saw it first on Twitter.
For all posts on this topic, click here.
 
 

What Does The International Healing Foundation Do?

Last year, I reported that the International Healing Foundation struck gold in 2011 with an apparent donation of over 500k. Some of the money was used to promote a video for schools.  However, salad days have returned for IHF as the current 990 form shows they burned through the rest of those funds in 2012 leading to a loss for the year of just over $202k. Another question raised by the 2012 990 relates to the nature of their services in 2012. From the 990, it appears that IHF is claiming that they did very little, if any, counseling.
First, let’s look at the year’s summary as compared to last year.

First, IHF saw a dramatic drop in total revenue from 2011 to 2012. Second, while contributions increased substantially, program fees nearly dried up. Program fees represent client payments for workshops, counseling sessions and any other professional services conducted by IHF. Year to year, it appears that IHF lived off of what they made in 2011. IHF spent 202,393 more than they received in 2012.
Next, examine the description of revenue for 2012:

IHF claims just over $140k in gifts and donations and $27,547 in revenue from services provided. The 990 preparer typed in “seminars/conf/projects” as the source of those funds. I am aware that Richard Cohen traveled around the world to speak and that IHF staff conducted workshops and seminars. However, what about the counseling sessions which IHF touts as leading to change in orientation? According to a former IHF client, the organization charges $125 per hour for counseling. At that rate, it is hard to understand how IHF is keeping a full time counselor busy.

I reached out to IHF Director Christopher Doyle to ask if perhaps they consider client fees to be donations or for any other information which would shed light on these figures. However, he did not reply. Perhaps IHF didn’t report counseling income on the 990. Or perhaps they weren’t very busy providing reorientation counseling services in 2012. If the latter is true, what did they do?

IHF founder Richard Cohen was being cited by Unification Church leader Hjung Jin Moon as being the foremost leader in the UC on homosexuality. Cohen also spoke in Spain at the World Congress of Families conference (not Unificationist).

IHF’s Chris Doyle appeared on the Dr. Oz show to claim that what IHF does is mainstream therapy. While that is a ridiculous claim, it may be true that very little therapy of any kind is actually taking place.

See also:

International Healing Foundation Again Tied To Unification Church

Another Publisher Investigates Mark Driscoll's Books

Another Christian publisher is conducting a review of Mark Driscoll’s books. This evening, Becky Garrison reports at Religion Dispatches that publisher Crossway is conducting an internal review of Mark Driscoll’s books to ensure “proper citation and documentation.” That is the same thing Crossway told me when I asked about my prior posts on Death By Love, a book authored by Driscoll and Gerry Breshears and published by Crossway.
I contacted Crossway’s Executive Director of Marketing James Kinnard for comment about prior posts regarding Death By Love. In reply, Kinnard wrote:

I assure you we are in touch with Mars Hill and are conducting an internal review to ensure that our books published by Mark Driscoll have proper citation and documentation.

I also reached out to Driscoll via Mars Hill and his co-author Gerry Breshears. Breshears pointed me to Driscoll’s recent apology concerning his book on Peter, but declined to comment further on other instances which have been raised.
Driscoll has published nine books with Crossway, three of which are out of print.
In her RD article, Garrison asks pointed questions about how Tyndale House has addressed the controversy as compared to how secular media have handled similar situations. Head on over to RD and give it a read.
See also:
On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)
Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post (12/3/13)
Mark Driscoll And His Church On Plagiarism (12/4/13)
Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating To Charges Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes To Audience (12/4/13)
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (12/5/13)
Who’s Talking About The Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy? (12/7/13)
IVP Says Bible Commentary Improperly Appeared In Book by Mark Driscoll; Mars Hill Church Responds, Blames Researcher Mistakes for Errors (12/9/13)
Mars Hill Church Alters Statement on Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (UPDATED) (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Document Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter, Part Two (12/12/13)
Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll and the Case of the Disappearing Links (12/16/13)
Historical Problems In Mark Driscoll’s Death By Love (12/16/13)
Mark Driscoll’s Death By Love And Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart: Is This Plagiarism? (12/17/13)
More IVP Reference Material Shows Up Without Citation in a Book by Mark Driscoll (12/18/13)
Mark Driscoll and Tyndale House Release Statement of Apology to Christian Post (12/18/13)
See all posts on this topic here.

International Healing Foundation Staffer Conducts Workshops For Unification Church

In 2007, parenting specialist at the International Healing Foundation Hilde Wiemann first denied, then admitted being involved in the Unification Church (Church of Sun Myung Moon who taught that he was the Messiah). Due to her involvement, the International Healing Foundation was briefly placed back on Steve Hassan’s list of Unificationist front groups.  IHF was originally placed on Hassan’s list because Cohen was once a member of the UC. IHF was removed when Wiemann recanted and declared the UC to be a “satanic, heretical cult.” IHF founder Richard Cohen initially denied Wiemann was a part of the church but later acknowledged her statement.
Apparently, Ms. Wiemann has changed her mind again. She recently presented a series of sessions along with long time UC member Pam Stein on behalf of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. The WFWP is a Unification Church entity headed by Angelika Selle. Selle pastors a UC church in MD and was appointed to her post as president of the American WFWP by none other than True Mother, Sun Myung Moon’s wife, Hak Ja Han Moon.
Ms. Wiemann has also changed her name. She now goes by Hilde Reinold in her non-IHF pursuits. Any doubt about her identity is dispelled by her Hilltop Retreat bio:

Hildegard Reinold grew up in a small town in Austria and came to the United States in 1982, where she married her husband, John Wiemann. John works hand-in-hand with Hilde as a massage therapist and Shiatsu specialist. John and Hilde have two sons and one daughter in their 20s, all happily married. Being a mother was and is the most important and fulfilling part of Hilde’s life.

IHF continues to partner with Reinold/Wiemann however, often using her Hilltop Retreat Center for their workshops. She is listed as Hilde Wiemann in the IHF literature but Hilde Reinold on the brochure promoting the UC workshop (note arrows pointing out the audience and the presenters):

I addition to the tele-course, Rienold/Wiemann led a session for the WFWP in October as a part of their of their annual National Assembly. During this event, Reinold/Wiemann presented a break out session on leadership and was quoted extensively in the article.
Reinold/Wiemann is not a peripheral player at IHF. In IHF’s Winter, 2012 newsletter, Cohen lauded Wiemann as a “true sister” and said she is “intrinsically laced into the fabric of IHF.”
In October 2012, one of Moon’s sons, Hyung Jin Moon identified Richard Cohen as being in the UC movement and as the “foremost expert” on homosexuality in the UC. There was no comment at the time from Cohen.
For more on the UC, see this in depth New Republic report from Mariah Blake.
 
 

League of the South Laments Removal of Racist Icon from Georgia Capitol

In life — especially later life, Tom E. Watson was a racist politician who found support among white Georgians. In death, he continues to find support from a cadre of white Southerners who want to turn back the clock. However, time marches on and Tom Watson’s statue has been removed from a place of prominence in front of the Georgia Capitol.  While African-American legislators and their supporters are happy about this turn of events, the white nationalist group League of the South laments the move.
In this BET.com article out yesterday, League of the South president Michael Hill criticized the legislature saying they were “caving in to political correctness.” The League sponsored a protest of the removal in November.
So what is the League upset about? What did Tom Watson stand for?
Watson didn’t think highly of “nigger-lovers” like Andrew Carnegie and especially Robert Ogden who ate with African-Americans and even made his employees do so. Watson published his racist views in his magazine, The Jeffersonian. In the following excerpt, his racist views are on full display in the article, “The Fool Friends of the Negro Do Him Enormous Injury.”

Note Watson’s justifications of lynchings and his threats that the situation in the South would get worse for “the negro” in proportion to the meddling of the Northerners in the affairs of the South. According to Watson, standing for equality is meddling. Let’s remember that this hero of the League of the South wrote in the beginning of the last century, long after the South had lost the war.
There are numerous illustrations of Watson’s anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti-Catholic views. This website opposing the statue has many quotes with links to the original source. I provide just a few.

One of the Civil War Amendments to the Constitution frees our brother in black; and he is now very free, everywhere, and is robustly asserting his right to be more so, especially at the North where he is so universally loved and fondly coddled.
“In the South, we have to lynch him occasionally, and flog him, now and then, to keep him from blaspheming the Alminghty, by his conduct, on account of his smell and his color. – The Jeffersonian, Volume 14, Issue 1, 4 January 1917 (Page 4)
White men made our social system what it is. White men made our governmental system what it is. White men founded our educational and religious systems. And white men should maintain what their ancestors established. We don’t need any of the colored and inferior races to defend our homes and firesides, our institutions and our liberties. We don’t need the negro in the army, nor in the civil service. We don’t need the Chinaman, the Jap, or the Hindoo. The uniform, the gun, the office, the ballot belong to white men, and our future will never be safe until we exclude from military and political privileges every colored man whomsoever. – The Jeffersonian, Volume 8, Issue 15, 13 April 1911 (Page 9)
“But the Negro? Poor, inferior copyist of the master-race, he is as incapable of maintaining a civilization as he is of originating one. For himself,, he can do nothing. Civilize him in America and send him to Liberia, and what happens? He sinks, lapsing toward the barbarous state; and begins to implore the whites to come to his relief.
“Civilize him in San Domingo, and what is the result? As soon as the French go away, and the negro becomes his own boss, down he goes. The varnish of Latin culture wears off, and there’s your nigger. And such is the chaotic bestiality into which he plunges, that the whites must needs rush to the rescue… you seldom see, in one of our towns and cities, a negro buck or young woman who has no bodily defect… Lacking in the characteristics that make for civilization, the negro can not be educated into white black-men.” – Watson’s Magazine, February 1910 (Page 108)

Michael Hill, League president, sounds similar themes in this essay on the League website:

Because Christian liberty has been the product of Western civilization, should the white stock of Europe and American disappear through racial amalgamation or outright genocide, then both liberty and civilization as we have come to know them will cease to exist. As whites have lost the will to defend their inheritance, there has been a corresponding increase in the willingness of the colored races to destroy Western Christian civilization and replace it with their own vision of the “good society.” That vision, or nightmare, as it were, will have no truck with the rule of law, equity, or fairness. It will be predicated on the “intimidation factor”–the employment of brute force by the strong against the weak. In short, it will be “payback time” for the alleged mistreatment that minorities-cum-majorities have suffered at the hands of the White Devils.

Hill told the Economist that the removal of the Watson statue a “campaign against Southerners, a campaign against whites.”
Given what Watson promoted, I say we need more campaigns like this one. Hill was not quite correct in his statement to the Economist. The campaign is against white supremacist Southerners who can’t get over the loss of the Civil War. The campaign is against people like Michael Peroutka, board member of the League of the South by night and teacher of the Constitution by day. Peroutka laments that the South lost the war in his Institute on the Constitution essay, Fireworks, Gettysburg, and a Bittersweet Fourth of July. In the essay, Peroutka says “America” lost the battle of Gettysburg:

The second sadness comes from the historical proximity of the defeat of our American forces at Gettysburg.

Who was defeated at Gettysburg?

On the fourth of July, 1863, after three days of brutal and desperate fighting to defend and preserve an American way of life, American soldiers retreated in the rain through Frederick, Maryland and slipped back across the Potomac River to the relative safety of Virginia.

Peroutka calls the Southern war to defend slavery “desperate fighting to defend and preserve an American way of life.”

I wonder what “Independence Day” thoughts went through the minds of these men as they marched away from that horrific scene where they and their brethren had sacrificed life and limb for the cause of American Independence. What singular faith and courage led them to continue the struggle to defend America from the growing tyrant!
Though most people living in America don’t realize it, the Army of Northern Virginia was the last force capable of countermanding the centralized tyranny that had, more than one hundred forty-two years ago, succeeded in undermining the concept of the Constitutional Republic. When Lee lost at Gettysburg, no earthly force remained that could stand against the Washington leviathan.

Peroutka’s League of the South continues to fight for the Confederate “way of life” by standing with Tom Watson, a racist white supremacist. In response, other Southerners have moved the statue and I hope it is not the last such icon to go away.

Uganda's President May Not Sign Anti-Homosexuality Bill; Ssempa Involved in Stealth Plan to Pass Bill

According to Uganda’s New Vision, Ugandan president Yowari Museveni may not sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He told the NV that he would read it before he decides what to do.
While it may seem like such a course should not need to be stated, Museveni has not returned a bill to Parliament during this Parliament. Thus, his statement is a signal that he may depart from his usual practice.
Museveni could slow the bill down by sending the bill back to Parliament with suggestions. The Parliament could then send it to committee where it could remain indefinitely. If the Parliament returns the bill, Museveni can send it back again if he doesn’t like it. Eventually, if the Parliament returns it to him after a two-thirds vote (the second time around), the bill will become law. However, the Parliament could elect to allow the bill to remain in committee until the Parliament closes thereby allowing it to expire. For a detailed examination of the bill in the context of Uganda’s constitution, see this summary at Box Turtle Bulletin.
For a fascinating examination of the events surrounding the passage of the bill, view this video.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w17pWglQHcQ[/youtube]
For more context of the passage of the bill, see this article in Uganda’s Observer. Note the role of Ugandan minister Martin Ssempa in hatching a plan to pass the bill in stealth mode. I hope the bill is challenged in court there and this information used to indicate how Parliament violated rules of procedure in order to prevent opposition from having their voice.
While I have yet to see the bill, the amendments are describe in the Observer article. I want to see the actual language before I concede that the death penalty has been removed, but it certainly seems likely that it has been. However, life in prison is practically a death sentence in Uganda.
UPDATE: Andrew Mwenda speaks out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on NTV last night.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/lUlQHZlM2yI[/youtube]

Public Service Announcement: Post-Christmas Stress Disorder (PCSD)

Going back to 2005, I have been warning blog readers about the scourge of Post-Christmas Stress Disorder. Sadly, this malady did not make it into the latest edition of the psychiatric manual, DSM-V. I am convinced that the omission of PCSD is one of the significant weaknesses of the new edition. PCSD resembles Pre-Christmas Stress Disorder and some people just have Christmas Stress Disorder. In most cases, PCSD spontaneously remits but in severe cases, intervention is warranted. Through research and experience, I have tweaked the criteria a bit over the years.
As a public service, I am again listing the signs and symptoms:
Diagnostic Criteria for 311.5x Post-Christmas Stress Disorder
A. Four (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week post-Christmas period and represent a change from previous functioning. The individual:
(1) refuses to take down Christmas decorations within two weeks after Christmas. (In chronic cases, leaves decorations up year round.)
(2) seeks out shopping opportunities on the day immediately following Christmas (Note: In children, new Christmas related requests occur within two weeks of Christmas and may occur intermittently through the year);
(3) describes depressed mood, more days than not (e.g., sings “Blue Christmas” repeatedly);
(4) manifests vocal tics (e.g., “Ho, ho, ho”);
(5) displays compulsive Christmas related behavior (e.g., repeatedly wraps and unwraps presents even though no gift is inside);
(6) displays at least one incident of catatonic behavior (e.g., Stands for long periods of time, immobile, under mistletoe);
(7) describes gift returns which outnumber number of presents received (sometimes buys items just to return them);
(8) displays irrational interpersonal behavior (e.g., Calls recorded lines to say Merry Christmas);
(9) mainfests inappropriate startle response (e.g., jumps or easily startled by video game or other novel noises); and/or
(10) alternatively, avoids references to Christmas (e.g., refers to “holiday trees,” “holiday ornaments,” “happy holidays” and/or “the Sparkle season;”
B. Symptoms do not meet criteria for Post-Christmas Adjustment Disorder
C. Symptoms cause clinically significant distress
D. Symptoms are not due to effects of a substance (e.g., eggnog, fruitcake, punch, etc.)
Specify (for current or most recent episode)
.x1 Mild – minimum number of symptoms are net
.x2 Moderate – six or more symptoms
.x3 Severe – nearly all symptoms but without delusions/hallucinations
.x4 Severe with hallucinations (e.g., Converses with “ghost of Christmas past, present or future”)
.x5 Severe with delusions (e.g., Arms self to protect against Grinch; on constant guard against “war on Christmas”)
.x6 With trauma associated (e.g., Witnesses mother kissing Santa Claus)
.x0 Unspecified
May we all be spared this fate and to all a good night.