Brian Williams Retreats; He Leaves the Anchor Desk and Backs Out of Letterman Appearance

First Williams turned over his desk to Lester Holt, now he has canceled his appearance on Letterman.
On Friday, President of NBC News Deborah Turness failed to endorse Williams in a memo to staff and announced an investigation. One suspects this isn’t over.
I taught the misinformation effect on Friday and am aware that memories are not tape recordings that can be retrieved with perfection. The “Lost in a Shopping Mall” paradigm illustrates that memories for event that never happened can be suggested and then remembered. However, there has been little explanation about how the event went from being accurately reported at the time to a fabrication of late. It is not at all clear where the misinformation was introduced into the narrative. Whether innocent or not, trust will be an issue for some time to come.
If Brian Williams had the kind of help David Barton has, Williams wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
 
 
 

I Am Michael: The Retelling of Michael Glatze

Michael Glatze burst into the awareness of those in the ex-gay world in July 2007. He was a gay activist who in a panic turned to God. At that time, I had turned from my days supporting sexual reorientation change efforts and had established the sexual identity therapy framework as the better approach to traditionally evangelical believers who were also attracted to the same sex. I was very curious about his experience and he discussed some of it with me in an interview very shortly after the his coming out as straight with WorldnetDaily. At the time, I wrote, “I know nothing about Mr. Glatze beyond this article, although I suspect we may be hearing more about him in the coming days.”

Initially, Glatze was portrayed by the evangelical press as an orthodox Christian convert. However, he confirmed to me, albeit reluctantly, that he had converted to the Mormon church. He later left the LDS church and at one point joined a Buddhist retreat center. He gave two interviews to Joe Nicolosi (most recent in 2014) about change of orientation that somehow Nicolosi and Glatze spun into support for reparative therapy (recall that Glatze was not involved in any change therapy efforts).

Glatze resurfaced a couple years later with a series of blog posts sharply critical of President Obama. One, in particular, was featured by ExGayWatch and seemed to express racist overtones. Glatze later provided an explanation to me about the comments which seemed more like unfocused rage at Obama.
I was a little surprised when I heard that James Franco was going to do a movie about Glatze’s changes. The film, I Am Michael has been getting good reviews but may not be available widely. In any case, as a biopic, I am sure it is interesting but at some point I would like to explore what really happened to Glatze. There are clues that he might not have been exclusively gay or that he might be bisexual. Is his experience generalizable to others, or is there some infrequent alignment of circumstances that led to the dramatic change? The writing I have done previously gives me little that’s solid.
In his 2014 interview with Joe Nicolosi, Glatze denigrates the experience of LGB people in much the same way he did in 2007. However, in this video below, he seems to articulate what the American Psychological Association calls “organismic congruence” or being who you experience yourself to be. It is hard to tell what he believes now, at least from this interview, but he seems much more at ease.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/DERC4kpd5Ag[/youtube]
As I wrote before, I suspect we may be hearing more about him.
 
 

The Atlantic on the Art of Whistle-blowing

whistleWriting on a topic of interest to my readers these days, Kate Kenny says whistle-blowing depends more on public interest than the importance of the content.
From my experience over the years, I lean toward agreement.
Over and above Seattle and other Mars Hill cities, many people are obviously interested in what happens with the church and Mark Driscoll. The interest has been strong and consistent. However, when I posted evidence that David Jeremiah and Les and Leslie Parrott used the same book list scamming approach (Kevin Small’s company ResultSource) as Mark Driscoll, the response was tepid. In fact, Jeremiah and the Parrotts make Driscoll look like an amateur. Those authors have used Kevin Small’s genius for multiple trips up the NYT ladder. However, that news has been a snooze compared to the latest dispatch from Mars.
In any case, this article helpfully reviews some factors that whistle-blowers consider when deciding whether to step forward or not.
 

Letter From Mars Hill Church to Those Who Donated to Mars Hill Global

A Mars Hill Global donor forwarded this letter to me. In the wake of ongoing questions about how funds donated to Mars Hill Global since 2012 were spent, the church leaders issued this letter to 6,000 donors.

This is slightly a reworded statement from the Mars Hill Global FAQ page on the Mars Hill website.

In fact, the Global Fund was a giving option until at least May of this year. As I demonstrated by means of videos that Mars Hill wants to hide, the leaders of Mars Hill did not simply consider Mars Hill Global to be non-member, online givers. Sutton Turner said in a video you can watch here that Global is a part of Mars Hill Church. At 30 seconds into this video, Sutton Turner said:

Mars Hill Global is the arm of Mars Hill Church that makes disciples and plant churches all over the world.

Later in the same video, Turner clearly addressed current members when he said:

So whether you’re a member of one of our Mars Hill Church locations in the United States or you’re one of 100,000 podcasters every single week, we encourage you to pray about giving above and beyond your tithe to Mars Hill Global.

In fact, the person who received this letter is not a podcaster, but rather was a member at the time the donations were given. The receiver of the letter serves as a contradiction to the content of the letter.

It was not the terminology alone that was confusing. The messages from Mark Driscoll, Sutton Turner and the Mars Hill website referring to Mars Hill Global as the way the church supported missions were especially confusing.  They clearly called Global the arm of the church which supported missionaries; now they want to call Mars Hill Global the donations given by people who are not members.

Mars Hill Church Again Issues Copyright Takedown Notice on Mars Hill Global Video

Earlier today, Justin Dean, acting on behalf of Mars Hill Church, requested that You Tube remove video clips of Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner talking about Mars Hill Global. In the video clips, which were made available to illustrate my commentary on the subject, both Driscoll and Turner clearly identify Mars Hill Global as a ministry of Mars Hill Church for the purpose of supporting international missions.’
I have contested the notice and will await You Tube’s decision, which could take up to 10 business days.  I firmly believe that the video clips are covered by Fair Use and are necessary to report accurately the relationship between Mars Hill Church and Mars Hill Global.
Last Friday, Mark Driscoll told his congregation that he was glad for the freedom of the press:

In addition, I really am blessed to live in a land where the law allows me to have freedom of speech, to have freedom of religion, to have freedom of assembly, freedom of the press. That means we get to assemble, and I get to open the Bible and teach whatever I believe to be true. But it means that others have that same legal opportunity. They have that same freedom, and so, and so others are free to, to say things as well.

One aspect of that freedom is the ability to use copyrighted materials to report news, or provide commentary and/or criticism. Clearly, the purpose of the videos in question is report news and provide commentary on Mars Hill Church and Mars Hill Global.
For all articles on Mars Hill Global, click this link.

Tyndale Gives Inaccurate Information, Blames Messenger

UPDATE: The Christian Post has updated their article on Tyndale’s statement regarding Resurgence by adding my statement and Todd Starowitz’s email to me.

Editor’s Note: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Warren Throckmorton, author of the cited Daily Beast article concerning Mark Driscoll’s business relationship with Tyndale House Publishers, provided the following statement via email to The Christian Post:
“My reporting regarding Tyndale House and Resurgence Publishing was based on information disclosed to me by Todd Starowitz, senior public relations manager at Tyndale. I reported it accurately as Mr. Starowitz now confirms. Tyndale House had ample opportunity to provide additional information last week in response to multiple questions from me but did not choose to do so. I hope Tyndale House will now fully accept the responsibility for providing incorrect information. …”
Throckmorton has published on his Patheos website reproductions of email exchanges between himself and Starowitz. In one email that Throckmorton said he received from Starowitz Tuesday afternoon, and which the Tyndale senior public relations manager confirmed as accurate with CP, he states: “Warren, your quotes of my emails were accurate. With that said my second email said that we did not have anything further scheduled AT THIS TIME. In no way was that to suggest that the relationship had ended. On the first item, I was simply wrong. I didn’t check with the appropriate people. I take full responsibility and the error was mine and mine alone. I also could not respond to your additional queries because I simply did not have the information I needed to respond.”

I am still waiting for the precise statement from Tyndale but according to this report in Christian Retailing, Tyndale is questioning the Daily Beast article.  I will have more to say about this when I see the statement but I stand by my reporting. I have the emails from Tyndale House’s Todd Starowitz. Also, I asked at least twice for clarification about what the publication delay and lack of reprinting meant with no answer from Tyndale.
Here is the statement from Tyndale. However, note the emails from Todd Starowitz below.
From: Todd Starowitz <toddstarowitz@tyndale.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: Mark Driscoll’s next book
To: Warren Throckmorton <warrenthrockmorton@gmail.com>

Warren, we did not print a paperback version. I don’t expect that we will reprint the hardcover.

Todd Starowitz

Senior Public Relations Manager
Tyndale House Publishers

I received this from Todd Starowitz this afternoon:

Warren, your quotes of my emails were accurate. With that said my second email said that we did not have anything further scheduled AT THIS TIME. In no way was that to suggest that the relationship had ended.
On the first item, I was simply wrong. I didn’t check with the appropriate people. I take full responsibility and the error was mine and mine alone.
I also could not respond to your additional queries because I simply did not have the information I needed to respond.
Regards,
Todd Starowitz
Senior Public Relations Manager
Tyndale House Publishers

I appreciate Todd Starowitz being a stand up guy and issuing this statement to me. Now I hope his employer will retract what they had to say about my reporting. There have been some reports from other news sources that did go too far and I can understand Tyndale wanting to make that right.  However, I did not say the relationship had ended. I regret that people got the wrong idea from the article but I can only report what I am told. I think it is surprising that they were so cavalier about their relationship with Driscoll. I note that Tyndale did not apologize to him for giving a writer inaccurate information.
I have some other issues with their statement but I will take those up later.
———————–
 
I am getting word that Tyndale House may have something else to say about their relationship with Resurgence yet today. In the mean time, I want to post the screen cap of Tyndale’s promotional page for My Problem with Christianity before my recent contacts with Tyndale and what it is now.
Then (Google cache May 9):

And now (same URL):

If you go to any other links for My Problem with Christianity, the book is not listed on the Tyndale website.
 

Duck Dynasty to Leave A&E?

Sounds like that could be the result of talks with A&E after the network put Phil Robertson on hiatus. The Robertson family issued the following statement tonight via their Duck Commander website:

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.  While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.  We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.   Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

I wondered what the rest of the clan would do. I suspect they will hold out for A&E to allow Phil to return to the show. If not, this may be the last season.
See also:
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson On Hiatus Over Sexual Orientation Remarks

Springboro Confederate Flag Waving, League of the South Defender Says He Was Misunderstood

This is why it is good to shine light in dark places.
Defending the indefensible often leads to backpeddling.
In actuality, Sonny Thomas, the fellow who showed up at the Springboro School Board meeting and defended the Constitution course written by a League of the South board member didn’t back off much. He now says he was trying make a point about symbolism. I guess in a way he did what he set out to do. However, the symbolism which most people associate with the Confederate flag is repulsive.  He acknowledged that most people viewed it as racist, a sentiment which was confirmed in the Cincinnati.com article by Cincinnati area minister, Damon Lynch.
Not sure how Sonny’s reframing of the situation will sit with his ideological peers. On at least one white nationalist blog, he was getting cheers for his efforts. Occidental Dissent posted a link to the Daily Caller article on the subject with the headline, “Go, Sonny, Go.” According to the blogger, Sonny was in attendance at the unabashedly white nationalist Council for Conservative Citizens 2013 conference.
Kelly Kohls, president of the school board, told me in an email that she was surprised by Thomas’ remarks. She told me that board policy allows prearranged speakers to talk about whatever they want to talk about for three minutes. She said she felt between “a rock and a hard place” because she disagreed with his message but also worried about a free speech lawsuit if she shut him down.
Looking into Thomas’ background, it is hard to see how his remarks were surprising. This is not his first national media rodeo. In 2010, he was in the news for making disparaging remarks regarding Hispanics via twitter.  There were ripples throughout the tea party world; for instance, James Traficant and others pulled out of a Springboro tea party event due to Thomas’ involvement.
 
 
 

No Glenn Beck World Shattering Announcement: Will it Come Monday and Will Beck's Fans Be Listening?

I must confess, I like watching the reaction of fans and true believers to promises made by leaders of movements and religious groups. Similar to the findings of Festinger’s book When Prophecy Fails, some people get more protective of the leader and work a little harder to bring people into the fold. And it appears that some are doing that in response to the lack of big news promised by Glenn Beck two days ago. See this post for the background.
There has been lots of activity on Twitter wondering when Beck will announce the power structure destroying news. Some fans are taking vague responses as a clue that the answer will come Monday. For instance:

The answer from Beck’s twitter account is: MONDAYmLee which could mean the news will drop Monday via an interview with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). Who knows?
Others are getting fed up.

It all kind of reminds me of The Great Pumpkin:

UPDATE: This blogger says Beck was set up by RWW’s editing. I see the editing but I don’t see how it changes the meaning. It is not clear from the clip what Beck is referring to.

Glenn Beck Promises an Announcement That Will Take Down the Power Structure

Whatever will it be?!

He says this has happened in Washington and beyond.
He says he has a whistleblower who has a document that will take down the whole power structure.
I think it has something to do with Jason Bourne.
Readers: What do you think he is going to announce?
Unintentional parody site Before It’s News says Beck will announce that the NSA blackmailed Chief Justice Roberts into a favorable Obamacare ruling.