|Mr. Reverse-Midas, Brian S. Brown – 2017
This Friday, the geopolitical center for anti-LGBTQ hate will be Verona, Italy. That is where world Congress of Families (an anti-LGBT hate group) will be holding one of its “congresses.” Ever the victim, in an email titled The protesters are here Brian S. Brown, the head of the organization is looking for money:
Friday is also the day that our $50,000 matching gift campaign comes to an end, and we are still several thousand dollars short of our goal. We need to make up this gap to take full advantage of this opportunity. Will you help with a gift today, knowing it will help doubly at this critical time?
There are two scams at work:
The first is that, with rare exceptions, matching gifts are bullshit. They are simply a restructuring of donations already pledged or received and are not contingent on the donations of others. The second scam is Brown asking for money.
World Congress of Families and International Organization of Families are assumed names for the Howard Center for Family Religion and Society. Howard Center reported revenues in 2017 of $205,136 which, by the way, is less than half of what it received in 2016. Did I mention that Brian S. Brown has Reverse-Midas Syndrome?
About half of what the organization received was paid out in salaries. Brown claims to have received no compensation — I will get to that in a moment. Howard Center had revenues exceeding expenses of $36 thousand. After salaries, that leaves all of $60 thousand available. Most of that went to administrative expenses. The point that I am trying to make is that donations to Howard Center (dba World Congress of Families) are not funding World Congress of Families “congresses” as Brown would have people believe.
As early as 1995, World Congress of Families was a collaboration of Allan Carlson (aka Allen Carlson) and several Russian sociologists. Casey Michel at Think Progress has done some excellent work on the ties between World Congress of Families and wealthy Russians with close connections to Putin:
At some point around that 2011 conference, WCF — the “most prominent bridge-builder” between Russia and American Christians, as one analyst said — attracted the support of a pair of Russians in the Kremlin’s immediate orbit: Vladimir Yakunin, a former Russian Railways chief and one of Putin’s oldest confidants, and Konstantin Malofeev, known as “God’s oligarch” for his wealth and staunch Orthodoxy alike. Both Yakunin and Malofeev reportedly began funding WCF ventures. The two would later be sanctioned by the U.S., although a series of American academics still work with Yakunin’s “think tank.”
Just to be clear, this Russian money is going directly to World Congress of Families projects. It is not going through Howard Center. Whether or not this violates US tax laws is a question that remains unanswered. Furthermore Malofeev is also sanctioned by the EU for his efforts to destabilize Ukraine and his support of Ukrainian ethnic-Russian separatists. Malofeev has also meddled in Crimea.
Alexey Komov is on the board of directors of Howard Center. Komov is another right-wing Russian piece of work.
Getting back to Mr. Brown
Brian S. Brown is the contact person for ActRight Action and ActRight Educational Trust. In 2013 ActRight Action had revenues above $500,000. In 2013 ActRight Educational Trust had revenues exceeding $350,000. In 2017 both organizations had revenues less than $50,000 and filed their nonprofit tax returns by e-postcard. There was also ActRight Legal Foundation which no longer exists.
Everything Brown touches turns to shit. Aside from its failure to thwart marriage equality, Brown pissed away over $600,000 in legal fees to sue the IRS which settled with National Organization for Marriage for $50,000.
It is highly unlikely that either of the remaining ActRight enterprises are paying Brian Brown a salary. Moreover, Brown is not receiving a salary from National Organization for Marriage.
Brian S. Brown has about nine children, possibly ten or more. My best guess is that Brown is being paid by the same Russian oligarchs who fund World Congress of Families. That is not illegal as long as Brown is reporting the income. I will allow the Internal Revenue Service to make that determination. I am reasonably certain that Brown requires a hefty income stream.
Returning to the email:
One key are [sic] where we need extra resources this Congress is in getting our message out. We’re all over the media in Europe, and (predictably, as it’s the main-stream media) we are being smeared, slandered and lied about in every quarter.
Brown being Brown, he doesn’t identify what those smears, slanders and lies are. Nor does he say how contributions will be used to influence public opinion. Later on he blames more on the media:
The media has fired up leftist activists who now will stop at nothing to discredit the World Congress of Families. The event is still two days away, and already there are protesters! They were miming spraying disinfectant on our signage and cleaning up, while wearing hazard suits. In other words, they were saying that beliefs like yours and mine about marriage, life, family, and faith are like germs that need to be wiped out! [So send us some money]
Nah. Nobody cares about what anyone believes. It is actions that create opprobrium. The intent of World Congress of Families is to impose religion-based anti-LGBT doctrine on public policy throughout the world. Yet, it is Brian S. Brown who is at the helm of this hate group and he doesn’t seem to be very successful in his endeavors.