“I cannot find any contribution from those foundations that would affect International Organization for the Family in any meaningful way.”
Brian S. Brown
Hate Group Leader Brian S. Brown

Tuesday, I have received a shameless email from Brian S. Brown on behalf of International Organization for the Family asking for money. There is a certain irony to the shamelessness of Brian Brown. Shame is the principal lever by which religion coerces adherents into compliance with dogma. The title of Brown’s missive (all in lower case) is “he’s seen nothing yet.”

Get this:

Billionaire George Soros, a radical leftist, has spent a good part of his fortune attacking the International Organization for the Family (IOF). This year, his network helped generate dozens of negative media stories about us, including a recent ambush attack by a writer for one of his groups who infiltrated our African Regional Conference in Ghana. The Soros network does this for one reason: to attempt to sully our reputation and discredit our work.

George Soros (which is often code for evil Jewish influence) is anything but radical. The man literally invented the concept of a hedge fund. The notion that Soros “has spent a good part of his fortune attacking the International Organization for the Family” is preposterous! Were Brown to utter that statement in varied company he would be laughed at.

For the record, at the end of 2017 the Open Society Foundation and the Foundation to Promote Open Society had combined assets of nearly $14 billion. The two foundations had investment income, combined, of over $800 million. Donations are all over the place.

And what the hell is the Soros “network?” Does that consist of every organization that his foundations donate to? Does that include Kids for Kids in Brooklyn ($27,000)? How about the nearly $500,000 that went to the Proteus Fund to help abolish the death penalty (which happens to coincide with conservative Catholic dogma)? Has Mr. Brown even bothered to look at where Soros foundations’ money is going?

But I have a more salient question:

Who are the dummies who respond to pitches like this? (I can just see the email from Brown titled: they call you dummies.) For starters Brown has a terrible reputation. Not only did National Organization for Marriage fail at every pursuit, Brown burned through about $70 million (through 2017) in the process.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Brown used the organization as a vehicle to illicitly line his own pockets (quite generously). In addition, NOM’s board chair, John Eastman, received hundreds of thousands in legal fees from NOM to pursue hopeless litigation. Legal fees were the objective — The intent of the litigation was less relevant. Eastman lost every case he pursued on NOM’s behalf and Brown must have approved all of Eastman’s work.

NOM spent a great deal of money on attracting donations which was spent on attracting more donations. Little wonder that NOM never accomplished anything. Just how much of that $70 million was spent on actual mission objectives is unknown.

The president of a nonprofit organization is, in effect, a fiduciary; a steward of the money provided by donors. He is supposed to put those interests ahead of his own.

IOF and World Congress of Families are assumed names for the Howard Center For Family Religion and Society in Rockford, IL. That organization seems to exist primarily on foreign right-wing money, originally from Russian oligarchs (including some unsavory characters). I have every reason to believe that is still the case and those transactions are excluded from the organization’s financial statements. Why would American citizens subsidize an enterprise with vague, arcane financial disclosures?

Okay, that is complicated. Why would someone open up his wallet to another person who claims that George Soros has spent a good part of his fortune attacking an organization with (reportedly) $60,000 in assets?

In fact, I spent several hours going through the 2017 contributions. The two foundations are extremely explicit with respect to where money went and for what purpose. For example, this random selection went to a New York charity:

I cannot find any contribution from those foundations that would affect International Organization for the Family in any way whatsoever.

Note: Howard Center and its two identities; International Organization for the Family and World Congress of Families are designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.