On Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin was on the Jim Bakker Show. For reasons I cannot understand, Boykin claimed to have a PhD. Apparently, he was talking about the one he purchased from Phoenix University of Theology, a diploma mill (Not affiliated with University of Phoenix). Watch:
Speaking about the critics of President Trump, Jim Bakker said they engage in sex, and drugs, “but forget rock and roll.” He then called Boykin “doctor.”
Jim Bakker: Forgive me, doctor
Lori Bakker: But that’s another thing, yeah. But its…now you’re a doctor, you’re a general…
Boykin: Actually, I am.
Lori Bakker: You are a doctor?
Boykin: I do have a PhD
Lori Bakker: Oh my goodness! I love it! This is great, we just found out more about you.
Family Research Council where Boykin is Executive Vice President didn’t respond to a request for information about Boykin’s claim. His academic bio at Hampton-Sydney College doesn’t list a PhD so I assume he is referring to his “PhD” from Phoenix University of Theology. Read more about the diploma mill here and here.
I think Lt. Gen. is a pretty cool title, but apparently Boykin thinks fraudulent academic credentials give him an advantage. I realize there are bigger fish to fry but claiming fake degrees strikes me as a symptom of the credibility problem that ails modern evangelicalism.
Two of Ted Cruz’s national security advisors, Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney were discussing President Obama’s handling of the military. Right Wing Watch pointed out an amazing exchange between the two. In particular one that stood out to me was the characterization of white privilege as “nonsense.”
Go to RWW to listen to the exchange. After complaining about the training offered in the military, Gaffney and Boykin ridiculed “white privilege” as a proper subject of training.
“Diversity, sensitivity, and white privilege,” Gaffney said derisively.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Boykin said, “on white privilege and nonsense like that. That’s where they spend their training time.”
Now I don’t know what other subjects are covered in military training. I suspect many more than these. However, it is shocking to hear advisors to a presidential candidate ridicule sensitivity training that includes the subject of white privilege. Does Ted Cruz agree with his advisors here?
Is this the kind of military climate Cruz wants to create?
In my opinion, both Boykin and Gaffney should be relieved of advising duty, and if Cruz doesn’t deal with this now and he becomes the nominee, Hillary Clinton will deal with it in November.
Looking for something else, I came across Wake Up America, a method to profit from tea party politics.
Essentially, WUA wants people to buy media kits filled with tea party talking points, and then the new owners of a media kit try to get other like-minded people to buy the kits and start selling them too. The compensation plan is here. The more people selling kits on behalf of the “wakers” (as in those waking up a sleepy nation), the more money the wakers are supposed to make. Sounds all multi-level marketing to me. Some might call it a pyramid scheme. However, I am not qualified to make that assessment, but I suspect they are in compliance with the law.
Wake Up America features some big name conservative experts. Lt. Gen. Boykin is there; Tim Johnson, Frank Gaffney, etc., and then League of the South board member Michael Peroutka on the list as well. I’m not sure what they do but they are there lending their reputation to WUA. Clearly, IOTC is a player in the tea party world and should be taken seriously.
Apparently, WUA isn’t CEO William Head’s first rodeo. He started a similar plan in 2006 called Purge Congress. Apparently, that effort didn’t work out well.
Over the years, I have been approached by various people to enroll in plans to sell soap, vitamins, and once motivational videos. I never got involved because it seemed like a lot of work for very little payoff, at least since I was getting in way down the downline. In this case, WUA sells ideology and apparently hopes that lots of people want to buy and sell it too.
UPDATE (8/9/13) – Alex Seitz-Wald also wrote about this situation and added some detail, including the fact that Glenn Beck had been promoting this conference.
See additional update following the post…
Yesterday, in my post on the radicalization of the League of the South, I linked to a conference sponsored by the Institute on the Constitution. I noted that
…several mainstream evangelicals are speaking in September at a conference sponsored by IOTC and held at a major mega church in Texas.
If you click the links you will go to something called the Founding Faith Conference 2013 (now unavailable without a password). Until earlier today, Lt. General Jerry Boykin was slated to be a key speaker at the conference. However, I learned earlier this afternoon via a source at the Family Research Council (where Boykin is an executive vice-president) that Lt. General Boykin recently became aware of ties between the Institute on the Constitution and the League of the South and, as a result, has backed out of the conference.
For sure those ties are real. Founding Faith Conference speaker David Whitney is the chaplain of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South. At the 2013 conference of the League of the South, IOTC founder and director Michael Peroutka’s was selected to join the League’s board of directors. Then, at the end of his speech, Peroutka, pledged the resources of the IOTC to the efforts of the League. Watch:
UPDATE (8/8/13) – IOTC is now missing from the sponsor page on the conference website (screen cap earlier today) and David Whitney is no longer listed as a speaker (screen cap earlier today). At this time, I don’t know what that means for the other speakers, except to note that they are still listed.
At the end of the Salon piece, Margaret Andrews supplied a statement about her response to Boykin’s departure. I can add that I contacted her on 8/6 before I wrote anything about the conference. She did not make any obvious changes until the afternoon of 8/8, after Boykin disclosed his intention to exit.