Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
Halo 3 as a teen recruiting tool for churches?!

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lihan161051)

I had heard hints of this about a week ago but at the time I thought it was a rather liberal church trying to counter the more dominionist-based Left Behind: Eternal Forces using a game that wasn't in the LB franchise.

Now I'm not so sure about that, because after reading the article more thoroughly and also after seeing sponsors of the group Dare2Share, which is promoting this, on Fox News' The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet with a few of their (clueless but well coached) kids, I'm thinking maybe at least some of the dominionists have given up on trying to leverage the Left Behind game and gone for one that's considerably more popular. D2S has sanitized their website pretty thoroughly, but I still see hints that there's a lot more to this than meets the eye. (It was also pretty sobering to see the guy representing D2S speaking what sounded like dominionist code language and then hearing the host of the show pick up the words at face value and riff on them without a *clue* as to what the D2S guy was really saying.) And this business of carefully avoiding the better known code words and red flags may actually be a sign that people in this movement are paying closer attention to what *we* are looking at.

Any thoughts?

Current Mood: contemplative
dogemperor [userpic]
Hope City Church, UK

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]multiclassgeek)

One of the biggest churches in the North of England is based in my 'alma mater town' of Sheffield, with branches all over The North. It's known as Hope City church, and meets in a heavily-converted former factory. I was never a member, but several of my 'corridor mates' from first-year University accomodation were.

Over the course of time I've seen various bits of Dominionist-sounding theology emerging from it, or mentioned in reports (something about refinancing your home to give money to the church - and at least one heavily-publicised visit from "A famous American healer" whose name escapes me)

However, I've investigated a couple of iterations of their website, and have not been able to uncover any overt Dominionist links (no obvious codewords, links to Assemblies front groups, or other tell-tale signs), so I thought I'd mention it here, to see if [info]dogemperor or someone else could succeed where I've failed, or spot something I've missed.

The current website is here

EDIT: OK, I admit, my Google-Fu was weak, here. Question answered, suspicions confirmed. Thanks for the help, everyone!

EDIT2: Tagged. Can I request a new set of 'national tags' for non-USA based Dominionist activity

Current Mood: okay
dogemperor [userpic]
Fun with front companies in action

I've posted quite a bit on how dominionist groups--in particular the Assemblies and its own front the FGBMFI--like to set up "Business ministries" and front companies specifically for purposes of "bait and switch" evangelism, not to mention setting up "parallel economy" alternatives for dominionists. The Assemblies in particular also has a habit of partnering with known dominionist-friendly corporations.

One of the more interesting players in this is News Media Corporation, which is a company that owns approximately 71 newspapers in nine states; they've become a bit infamous in newspaper circles for buying up community tabloid newspapers with some skull-and-dagger tactics.

The CEO, John Hopkins, runs not only News Media Corporation, but also the Rochelle News-Leader (in Illinois) and a string-music publisher.

One of the things News Media Corporation is *very* careful not to mention on its website is the fact that it's being used as a front for "bait and switch evangelism" and support of dominionism--for *that*, you have to go to a little magazine called Today's Pentecostal Evangel which is published by none other than the Assemblies of God, aka the world's first dominionist denomination...

News Media Corp's founder happily reveals his dominionist plans to fellow dominionists when they think the rest of us aren't watching )

Mind you, this is by *far* not the only piece of work like that in the pages of that magazine--the right-hand bar actually has something like eight years of archives where the actual face of Assemblies-style dominionism is brought to the world to see via interviews with folks in the dominionist movement. It gives you all too much of an insight on just *how* dominionists plan to take over the country...a terrifying, frightening glimpse.

dogemperor [userpic]
In direct relation to busting dominionists' tax exempt statuses...

In light of first the DefCon America call for people to report dominionist groups violating tax exempt status and a later report of at least the second serious threat against Focus on the Family's tax exempt status, I would like to present both a bit of useful info and history and a very long list of groups that you, too, can file complaint in regards to.
First, the history )

A brief note on the whole 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 stuff...the US tax code allows specific exemptions to federal taxes for certain classes of nonprofit organisations. To make a very long story short, the three main types of nonprofit groups legally recognised under the US tax codes are 501(c)3 groups, 501(c)4 groups, and PACs (political action committees). Both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 groups can be set up as nonprofit groups; 501(c)3 exemptions tend to be used by churches, schools and educational groups whilst 501(c)4 groups tend to be used by actual lobbying groups. (Of note to Dark Christianity, dominionist groups typically register as 501(c)3 groups, and typically under the "religious ministry" or "educational foundation" exemptions (with the exception of groups like the DeVos Foundations, which are organised as private charitable foundations). The very few dominionist groups registered as 501(c)4 groups are uniformly registered as "social welfare organisations".)

The main difference in practice between a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4 in practice:

501(c)3 group donations *can* be counted off on taxes as "tax deductible donations" but 501(c)3 groups generally are not legally allowed to engage in most political activity. (Certainly not advocating certain persons or certain parties for election, even certain issues can be iffy if it's a party-defining issue)

501(c)4 groups have more leeway as far as lobbying in Congress and state governments but donations to these groups are *not* tax deductible.

The specific IRS rules for lobbying for 501(c)3 groups are here and the rules for 501(c)4 "social welfare" groups are here.

Of special note (and of major import for dominionist groups)--groups that lose their 501(c)3 status as a result of lobbying *cannot* apply for 501(c)4 status; they lose their tax exempt status period. (Christian Coalition had changed their status to 501(c)4 just before the IRS yanked their tax exempt status, and it was only after almost seven years before it was restored; even now, they're essentially on "double secret probation" with the IRS.) Also, 501(c)4 groups can't have political lobbying as their *primary* activity (which is much of what got the Christian Coalition in trouble, and what may even get the few dominionist 501(c)4 groups in hot water).

Instead of the 1040C or other business-related tax forms that are normally filled out, organisations that qualify as 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 groups fill out a different form, called a form 990 or form 990-PF (the latter mostly applies to 501(c)4 groups); churches are largely exempt from having to register or file a form 990 (it's "assumed" they're tax exempt unless they show misbehaviour like, oh, distributing blatantly partisan dominionist voter's guides in sermon).

This is important in relevance to the next section:
Form 990 filings and tax exempt statuses for lots of dominionist groups )

I know there are probably dominionist groups I've not listed there--if you've additions, let me know and I can add their tax info (and you can have fun reporting them for their misbehaviour!).

dogemperor [userpic]
And now, a request for help...

Specifically, a new project that should be useful to people researching dominionism.

My inspiration was in updates for the "Big List" (via an accidental discovery whilst searching for info re my last post to Dark Christianity re toughened college standards in California and how dominionist education doesn't make the cut anymore)...

...among other things, it appears there are a surprising number of front groups for some dominionist denominations, in particular the AoG (I know of at least seven or eight, there are probably far more).

I know some other groups nominally associated with dominionism that are known to be coercive religious groups (such as the Unification Church/Moonies) have front groups numbering in the hundreds to thousands, as do some other coercive religious groups like Scientology; I have also read in multiple pages on studies of coercive religious groups that the existance of hundreds of "front organisations" may in fact be a hallmark of larger coercive religious groups in general.

So, with that:

Dogemperor proposes the first mapping of dominionist front groups, featuring the specific group I walked away from )

Anyway, if we could get folks working on mapping the various groups associated with dominionist groups/denominations in such a fashion it might well be easier to show (among other things) evidence they're *definitely* trying to hide something. :3

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