Invisible Children's Robust Ties to The Family Suggest Invisible Fundamentalist Agenda
Producers of KONY 2012 Are Cozy With Organization Linked to Uganda's Notorious 'Kill the Gays' Bill
NEW YORK -
Truth Wins Out expressed deep concern today that Invisible Children
(IC), the non-profit made famous by its recent KONY 2012 video, shares
profound ties with The Family (aka The Fellowship), the secretive
fundamentalist organization widely believed to be behind Uganda's
infamous 'Kill the Gays' bill, which if passed would harshly punish LGBT
people for the "crime" of homosexuality.
exhaustive report released today by researcher Bruce Wilson reveals
alarming social and professional associations between the two groups.
This includes a network of elite evangelical indoctrination centers in
Uganda, which groom Christian youth for future leadership roles in the
country. The new report comes at a critical time, one day before
Invisible Children releases its much-anticipated video sequel to KONY
Children has portrayed itself as a group of idealists, but new evidence
suggests that they may be ideologues who are engaging in stealth
evangelism," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen.
"Their profound ties to a notorious group like The Family raise alarming
questions about the group's genuine motives, actual goals, and real
is a secretive U.S.-based brotherhood of international political and
business leaders. Founded in 1935, its growing political clout was
brought to widespread public notice with a 2002 Los Angeles Times report
by Lisa Getter, then exposed in subsequent articles and two books by
journalist Jeff Sharlet: The Family and C Street: The Fundamentalist
Threat to American Democracy.
least two of Invisible Children's programs have involved collaboration
with The Fellowship and its members. By 2007, Invisible Children was
described by both Fellowship and Invisible Children staffers as having
partially merged its developing school and mentoring programs in Uganda
with The Fellowship's Ugandan educational and leadership training
system, which works to raise up a cadre of elite Jesus-centered leaders
who will transform their nation along "Biblical" lines - with one
apparent objective being the categorical elimination of homosexuality.
stated philosophy of Invisible Children's Ugandan educational programs
closely mirrors the stated philosophy behind The Fellowship's
Cornerstone Leadership academies. Neither program seeks to maximize
educational opportunities for large numbers of Ugandans. Rather, both
programs foster small numbers of exceptionally talented students
selected from at-risk populations; both programs also state explicitly
that their goal is to raise up a generation of Ugandan leaders who will
transform their nation.
that end, both programs employ mentors who are paired with individual
students and provide a crucial quasi-parental support system. Further,
both mentoring programs have been supervised by Ugandan Fellowship
member Paul Lukwiya, now Education Director for The Fellowship's Ugandan
leadership training schools.
Spring 2007 - little more than a year and a half after the Invisible
Children nonprofit was launched - Paul Lukwiya is reported to have
traveled with IC members to the United States, where he spoke before an
April 28, 2007 Invisible Children Seattle rally.
Children's connection to The Fellowship's network provides an
explanation of IC's early access to internationally powerful
politicians; less than a year after the nonprofit was launched in 2005,
Invisible Children had already gained political backing, from U.S.
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, both
important Fellowship members," according to Wilson's research.
Russell and other top Invisible Children leaders also work with Raan
and Shea Parton, the co-founders of Apolis Global, a California
for-profit boutique-clothing brand. The Apolis Global co-founders are
alumni of The Fellowship's National Youth Leadership Forum.
the incestuous ties, it is sometimes difficult to tell where Invisible
Children ends and The Family begins," said TWO's Wayne Besen. "What is
vexing is that both groups rightfully despise the murderous actions of
Joseph Kony, but appear to be comfortably in the pocket of Uganda's
oppressive fundamentalist Christian dictator Yoweri Museveni. If these
groups truly stand for freedom and liberty, it is difficult to
understand their cozy relationship with the Ugandan strong man."