Monday, January 23, 2017

#1780: Harry Jackson

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is a Pentecostal bishop, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, and Presiding Bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches. He is also founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, a group of extremist wingnuts, and co-founder of The Reconciled Church Initiative. Moreover, Jackson is completely, utterly deranged, and an open supporter of Seven Mountains dominionism.

Jackson has for instance supported the position that the US is facing its present challenges primarily because of the actions of the Queen of Heaven, which NAR founder C. Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs – and apparently Jackson – think is the demonic force that rules over Roman Catholicism, Islam and other faiths. Apparently she lives on Mount Everest – Wagner has written a whole book on the subject, and bragged about how his efforts to defeat her led to the deaths of Mother Theresa and Princess Diana, and to the “earthquake [that] destroyed the Basilica of Assisi” – but she has apparently also infiltrated the US government. Yeah, that kind of guy.

Politics and race
Jackson’s one-trick-pony trick is to claim that anything and everything he doesn’t like, including abortion, contraception and gay marriage, is a particular threat to the black community and therefore inherently racist. (It’s not clear that he really believes that, though; he has also argued that minorities should stop complaining about racism and start working with white Republicans.) The IRS for instance: according to Jackson the fact that churches cannot both engage in politics and retain their tax-exempt status is a conspiracy against blacks, and according to his own imagination (and nothing else), such regulations were originally put in place in order to prevent black churches from speaking out in support of the civil rights movement (in reality it originated with an amendment introduced by Senator LBJ in 1954 in response to attacks on him by tax-exempt groups that accused him of being soft on Communism during his re-election campaign). It’s not the only time he’s missed some historical details (he has, in fact, repeated the claim several times); his familiarity with the views and campaigns of Martin Luther King seems shaky at best, for instance.

Moreover the Obama administration’s contraception mandate isa means of anti-Black population control – a “silent effort of the powerful to control black breeding” – but Jackson is a bit thin on details as to, you know, how that’s supposed to work.

And Jackson has extensively blasted what he calls African Americans’ “adulterous relationship” with Obama, “adulterous” because “there’s no romance” between the Democratic Party and African Americans and Hispanics. Just think about it. And part of the problem is the “assignment of Hell” that has been in place since 1967 and which is attempting to “erase sexual differences” through the LGBT community, but the above claims of course suggests that Jackson is somewhat confused on issues related to love and sexuality. He has also implored minorities to leave the Democrats’ “ideological plantation” (he likes to use these kinds of phrases, but rarely elaborates – it makes you look awfully silly, Harry), and reminds us that a vote for Obama is a vote to bring “divine vengeance” on America (like so many of his ilk, Jackson seems to think of God mostly as his violent friend on whom he can call to beat up those who disagree with him). After the 2012 election Jackson argued that God is moving to “take out” voters who chose “race over grace” and didn’t “care about homosexual marriage” – he himself won’t condone violence, of course, but his crazy-as-shit bulldog God won’t hesitate.

In 2016 Jackson, who otherwise seems to have been considered too crazy even for CPAC, joined Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board (in fairness, one suspects the purpose of the board was to collect some of the loudest fringe lunatics – to satisfy the Texas Taliban voter block – and let them yell it out without having to actually listen to them), and argued for instance that God won’t heal racism under Clinton because she is, like anyone who dares to disagree with Jackson, “anchored in anti-Biblical darkness.” In January (2017) Jackson’s group created a “POTUS shield” to “renew America’s covenant with God” and declared Trump anointed by them God.

(More on) zeh gays
Jackson, who is completely delusional on these issues, has called on people to pray – preferably in tongues – against “the Enemy”, Satan, whom he is convinced is ultimately behind marriage equality (also, donate money!). According to Jackson, legalization of same-sex marriage is “an assault”: “The Enemy wants it to be a legacy, or a seed that is planted in this generation that corrupts, perverts and pollutes” society. He has elsewhere claimed that Christianity is the foundation for freedom and religious liberty, but curiously does not seem to be in favor of either.

Jackson thinks abortion and gay marriage are to blame for the erosion of the black family: “I don’t know of anybody black who says, ‘I hate gay people’ [he himself prefers to call them pawns of Satan who spread corruption, pervertion and pollution]. We’re more accepting generally. But you overlap that – homosexuality and gay marriage – with broken families, and we don’t know how to put it back together.” According to Jackson “[t]wo people of the same sex who marry and try to indoctrinate children into that lifestyle does nothing to strengthen marriage or families,” and “[i]f you redefine marriage, you have to redefine family. You’d have to redefine parenting. I’m looking at the extinction of marriage. And black culture is in a free fall.” Moreover, “sexual abuse does not happen” in straight marriages; it’s exclusively a gay thing (but he doesn’t hate gay people; he only think they’re depraved, violent enemies of America and decency and possessed by Satan), and if same-sex marriage is legal, then “polygamy and many other forms of marriage” will “automatically sweep the land” (note the delectable insertion of “automatically”; I don’t think he knows what it means). And of course, to Jackson being in favor of marriage equality means that you’re, like Obama, wishing to “wipe Biblical marriage from the Earth” since you can’t have both homosexual marriages and heterosexual ones coexisting. In general, the gays will bring in Armageddon – though apparently the end times are coming soon anyways and that is apparently a good thing. He has written extensively on these issues for the Taliban leaflet Charisma magazine.

In 2009, Jackson led the anti-marriage-equality efforts in D.C., and even filed a lawsuit after the D.C. Board of Elections refused to allow a ballot initiative on marriage equality, claiming the initiative would violate D.C.’s Human Rights Act. He lost, several rounds. He also led subsequent efforts in Maryland, where he claimed that D.C. public schools are teaching “children – young children – to explore and examine the differences in heterosexuality, homosexuality and transgender lifestyles,” and that activists trying to repeal marriage equality are “not trying to impose our views on others” but that gay rights advocates “are trying to impose their agenda on us.” I don’t think that’s how it works.

Jackson also believes that condoms promote AIDS, just because.

There is a fine Harry Jackson resource here.

Diagnosis: Barely coherent bag of hate, bigotry and insanity. He’s a clown, of course (Pennywise-style), and gets a lot of attention as such, but we have to believe that his actual influence is relatively limited.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

#1779: Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson is an evil man. He is the news director for the American Family Association, and the kind of guy who systematically blames violent incidents on liberal churches and the media, institutions that according to Jackson are deemphasizing the fear of God and the Bible. Jackson (and his co-host Teddy James at the radio show AFA Today) did for instance maintain that the 2012 Colorado movie theater shooting was a sign of God’s judgment for the failings of the public education system and liberal churches that affirm gays and lesbians. What gays and lesbians have to do with it should be obvious: Jackson is one of the Good guys, but doesn’t like gays, so gays must be Evil and thus in league with mass murderers. The boy scouts are apparently part ofthe Horde as well (in “open rebellion” against God, no less). And the forces of evil are backed by the courts; the SCOTUS gay marriage decision, for instance, led Jackson and Sandy Rios to declare that marriage, the institution God himself instituted in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve were playing around with the dinosaurs some 6000 years ago, is now dead in the US and that God will have his vengeance on us. Good thing that when people disagree with you or things don’t go the way you wanted them to go, you can always call upon (what they seem to primarily think of as) a big bully friend to beat up the offenders, and claim that some random typhon hitting innocent farmers in Nicarague is evidence that he is doing your bidding.

AFA Today has hosted prominent and well-respected guests like Jan Markell (who for instance agreed with Jackson’s assessment of the refugee crisis in Europe that it is proof that God has “taken down any hedge” of protection – from Muslims, of course – around the continent because of its abandonment of Israel), Jerry Newcombe and Jerry Boykin.

Of course, Jackson sometimes makes forays into political issues beyond marriage equiality as well, for instance when he claimed that demanding public trials for police officers (or, really, holding them accountable at all) “sounds a whole lot like lynching”, or when he agreed with a caller that red states should secede from the US.

Diagnosis: A horrid little man; delusional, mean and zealous.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#1778: Hanan Islam

Hanan Islam is the executive director of the World Literacy Crusade (WLC), a California Scientology organization, and the founder of the National Association of Alternative Health Practitioners (NAAHP). She calls herself “dr. Hanan”, claiming to be a naturopathic physician with two doctorates and a master’s degree from Rochville University and the Eden Institute. Rochville is demonstrably a diploma mill, and no one seems to know what “Eden Institute” is supposed to be, which probably means it's spam. NAAHP is ostensibly a “comprehensive referral base of more than 1,000 Health practitioners, (MDs, NDs, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, RNs, Nurse Practitioners, etc.) practicing natural health therapies addressing the full spectrum of physical and spiritual maladies,” though Google primarily return a few sites on or about Islam if you search for it (and none of them, interestingly, appear to name any other member than her).

The WLC has had a bit more influence. It used to run a charter school in Florida, the Life Force Arts and Technology Academy, until 2012, when it filed for bankruptcy. Though Islam had reassured parents that the school wouldn’t be pushing religion (and it received about $800,000 a year in public funding), reports from former students and teachers sort of, well, contradict that claim, and the school seems to admit that its pedagogical approach was firmly rooted in L. Ron Hubbard’s pseudoscientific “study techs”. The WLC was founded by one Alfreddie Johnson, Jr., by the way, a close friend of both Louis Farrakhan and Isaac Hayes (Nation of Islam and Scientology enjoy substantial ties) to use “community-based literacy programs that utilize [sic ] the breakthrough study and drug rehabilitation methodologies developed by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.”

Islam also lists herself as a board member of the African American Mental Health Coalition, an organization that promotes such things as prayer, meditation, herbs and vitamins, and diet as “alternatives” to mental health care, and which lists Andrew Weil and Dr. Oz as their “favorite doctors.”

Diagnosis: A completely ridiculous character, but she has actually been in a position to cause genuine harm. Breathtaking.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#1777: Charlotte Iserbyt

Back in the days Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt was a senior policy advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education (Reagan’s first term – she was relieved of her duties in 1982), staff employee of the U.S. Department of State, and co-founder of the educational activism group Guardians of Education for Maine. These days she is most famous for raging and ranting about how current problems in education and prevailing anti-intellectualism in the US are caused by former Soviet KGB agents.

Much of her, uh, research and worries about the American education system are summed up in her 1999 book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. According to the book, schools and universities are part of a conspiracy to suppress creative thinking and brainwash children into toeing the party line. There are several reasons why this should be obvious: For instance, since teaching a child to read, write and do basic math isn’t and shouldn’t be expensive or hard, the fact that education is currently costing a lot of money and takes a long time must be due to the efforts put into subsequent brainwashing.

More precisely, the public education system silently and nefariously work to eliminate the influences of a child’s parent, religion, morals and patriotism to “mold the child into a member of the proletariat in preparation for a socialist-collectivist world of the future.” These evil plans, and the psychological methods used to implement them, were formulated primarily by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education (which ostensibly is at the heart of a great plot to start several large-scale wars and military conflicts to create world peace) and the Rockefeller General Education Board, but were adopted by the Ford foundation and even the president himself: during her stint in the Department of Education Iserbyt allegedly discovered, to her disbelief, how these socialist-collectivist policies originated all the way from President Reagan, Vice President George H. W. Bush, and their policy advisers, including the CIA. Yes: Reagan himself was really a communist agent – Iserbyt suspects he came under communist influence when he was a member of the National Advisory Council of the American Veterans Committee, apparently a communist front organization. And not only Reagan but his administration, the government, various large organizations and even multinational companies. If you don’t see some obvious problems with Iserbyt’s theory on your own, we’re not sure we can help you. One wonders, though, whether Iserbyt might be under some misconceptions concerning what counts as “communism” and “brainwashing”.

Further proof that she is right is the fact that some critics call her a “kook”.

Diagnosis: Well, “kook” sums it up pretty well, but “raving lunatic” seems even more appropriate. We doubt that her own influence is particularly momentous these days, but plenty of crazies have taken up similar causes.

Monday, January 16, 2017

#1776: Naomi Isaacson, Avraham Cohen & Rebekah Nett

Cohen, we think.
Naomi Isaacson is the president of Yehud-Monosson and CEO of SIST, which is apparently some kind of fundamentalist Zionist cult (full name Dr. R.C. Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology Inc. and officially an educational non-profit). Avraham Cohen, a.k.a. R.C. Samanta Roy, founded the cult in the seventies as a Christian end-times group – apparently the move to Judaism was somewhat gradual. And he managed to build quite a bit of fortune for himself – like many cult leaders Cohen claimed God-given abilities to read people’s minds, predict their futures, and heal their diseases – until the whole thing seems to have fallen apart in a flurry of bankruptcy claims and foreclosures around 2010 (more detailed story here and here).

It was Naomi Isaacson, however, who managed to draw some national attention when she and her attorney, cult member Rebekah Nett, filed a marvelously deranged brief with a bankruptcy court in 2011 (related to the SIST troubles, of course) in which they called U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher, a “black-robed bigot”, another judge “a Jesuitess” with a “track record of lies, deceit, treachery and connivery” and both, together with some trustees, “dirty Catholics”. They also alleged that the courts were “composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church.” Meanwhile, Isaacson said, the “things that this Debtor has gone through are worse than the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and blood libels,” and “[s]ince Debtor has been vocal in exposing their dirty deeds, these dirty Catholics have conspired together to hurt Debtor.” Suffice to say, those sort of antics don’t go over particularly well with courts, who ordered Isaacson and Nett to show cause why each shouldn’t be fined up to $10,000. You can follow the link above if you need some actual details of the case, but we don’t think that’s necessary to make a judgment about Isaacson and Nett.

Nett, who apparently grew up in the cult, later had her license revoked indefinitely for her behavior by the Minnesota Supreme Court for repeatedly making “frivolous and harassing personal attacks and discriminatory statements in 11 different pleadings in five distinct matters.

Isaacson and Nett emphasized, in their response, that they weren’t caling Dreher a member of the Roman Catholic Church when they called her a Catholic judge; rather, they were “referring to a mentality and an adherence to a universal creed of White Supremacy,” pointing out, for good measure, that Catholics and the Jesuit order were behind the slave trade, the sinking of the Titanic, World War II, the Holocaust and U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam.

Diagnosis: I suppose some might feel sorry for them, but these people are deranged, evil and dangerous. Avoid, at least unless you have some expertise in how to help people escape from this kind of thing.