In yesterday's post--a new series on the Gothard frontgroup Police Dynamics Institute, inspired by reports nationwide of police departments getting "Gothardised"--we went into a focus on the present leader of PDI, Ray Nash (who seems to have quite a few skeletons in his closet).
Today, we don the deep-diving equipment and plunge into the depths of one of the scarier Gothard frontgroups--from its intrinsic role in "Gothardising" towns to its relationships with the other Gothard frontgroups (including a full view of a video from the fellow who essentially Gothardised the Queen City).
(Incidentially, most of the length of today's post is from a timeline--so really, this is shorter than usual :D)
"Police Dynamics Institute": Just another Gothard recruitment front
Info about Nash's group being a bona fide Gothardite front are not that hard to find, if you know how and where to look.
Probably the most damning evidence comes from Bill Gothard's own "Character Cities" frontgroup, where not only Ray Nash but no less than three other individuals involved in the law enforcement, corrections, and defense communities are listed as de facto deacons of Gothard's cult (Sheriff John Whetsel, Oklahoma County (OK) Sheriff and former Choctaw, OK police chief; Steven Menzel, IACC chairman and formerly with the USAF, and also was 5 years employed at the ALERT paramilitary training camp; Argyl Dick, head of and senior chaplain of Oklahoma Jails & Prisons ministry). Character Cities also does quite a lot of advertising for PDI on its website, including selling its books.
There is even more damning evidence in regards to PDI being a bona fide Gothard frontgroup. Interestingly, this comes from Gothard's own materials--it would appear that a copy of a International Conference of Character Cities video from 2005 is floating around the Internet. Here's the video, if you want to watch:
(I would encourage wide mirroring of this video; once Gothard finds out about this, it's likely to be pulled. You can use this KeepVid link to archive the video and repost elsewhere. Youtube will not take videos of longer than ten minutes; I have archives here for Youtube-repostable vids, and the KeepVid link can be used to archive the Youtube videos for reposting.)
For those not wanting to watch the video, it is a remarkable charting by Mike Daly (who can be best described as the "index case" for the spread of Gothardism throughout Cincinnati, OH's government) of how an entire city is recruited to what amounts to a Bible-based cult for the International Association of Character Cities powwow in 2005. (This is also the film in question that was the subject of a letter expressing grave concern by Midwest Christian Outreach which was sent to the city of Cincinnati's commissioner board.) Highlights include Daly (who is a major business contact in Cincy and who also happens to be founder of the Cincinnati City of Character Council) describing how he recruited businessmen, police officers, and school officials--and eventually government as well, with city councilman Phil Heimlich. A rough timeline of particularly notable points follows:
0:26: Daly recounts recruitment by IACC, and describes how IACC primarily recruits businessmen first as a method of establishing a benchhead. Describes this method of recruitment as a "secret weapon".
0:57: Daly describes how Cincinnati "took it as far as any city in the world".
1:08: Daly describes how municipal governments are targeted, including notes on how Phil Heimlich was targeted due to GOP connections (1:45).
2:00: Daly notes recruitment of business community as authority figures (likely to forcibly implement Gothard's "character" program). He also gives hints on the best sorts of rooms for recruitment seminars (bling is good).
2:40: The particular section noted by Midwest Christian Outreach in their letter begins, where Daly notes the recruitment of the Cincinnati Police and city commissioner Phil Heimlich.
3:00: Daly notes involvement of Tom Hill as a director of business recruitment for IACC; Hill is CEO of Kimray Inc., Kimray is a Gothard front company focusing on oil and gas drilling and pipeline equipment (largely valves and the like). Daly also notes he was originally recruited by Hill (3:20).
3:35: Daly describes a Gothard recruitment seminar for businessmen he organised in 1998--he sent 10,000 invitations to business leaders (charging $100 per head "if you could afford it" and subsidising the cost for small business leaders who could not) and ended up getting 100 "marks".
3:58: Larry McAtee is noted as a source of substantial assistance (McAtee is director of wellhead operations for Gothard business front Kimray, and has served on the OKC city council; Oklahoma City is another "model city" for Gothardisation).
4:25: The section of Midwest Christian Outreach's letter noting the recruitment of Phil Heimlich and the Cincinnati Police is noted; the letter of concern has transcribed from roughly this point to 5:20 and this section includes Daly describing how he gave political campaign donations to Heimlich.
5:20: Daly notes recruitment of major uniform company Cintas, including use of Cintas facilities for recruitment of businesses and holding "Character Counts" meetings. This is a mention I have not yet seen in regards to Gothard. (Cintas would be an especially good place to target if you were going after public safety folks for recruitment; they are probably one of the largest providers of uniforms for public safety personnel--including firemen, EMS personnel, policemen, and security guards--in the US.)
6:00: Daly describes how he and three other businessmen pooled together over $300,000 US to buy 10,000 copies of the "Green Book"--a version of the IBLP "Basic Course Textbook" with overt religious references deleted--to hundreds of teachers; he also describes how IACC personnel were shipped in to conduct the seminars (which appear to have been held possibly as inservice time; Cincinnati Public Schools auditoriums were used for free).
6:35: E.C. Gaffney is mentioned specifically as a consultant and Nash's participation is noted; Gaffney is a Colorado State rep candidate for HD 41 and runs another Gothard front business called "Essentials For Life".
7:10: Daly notes use of public service time donation by media including TV and radio, public advertising donations by billboard owners and printers, and recruitment of former Bengals player Anthony Munoz as spokesperson. (This hints at possible violation of tax exempt status with the Heimlich political funding; generally only 501(c)3 orgs are eligible for this type of donated "public service" advertisement.)
8:10: Describes process of recruitment developed by McAtee, based on "hard skills" (practical skills), "soft skills" ("people"/social skills), "character" (poorly defined, a mix of basic personality traits and moral fibre; he describes finding "disturbing" things in an adult's Internet browsing history as a mark of "poor character") and "drive" (basically "will to power" or "will to get things done".
11:00: Daly describes recruitment of Cincinnati Police Department in training sessions he and Nash led; these were mandatory training sessions given. Daly claims that cops listed practical policing skills as defining skills of "good cops" and "character traits" for "bad cops" (many of the "character" flaws listed were actually personality traits like arrogance).
12:20: Daly claims that "100 percent" of cops are fired for "character issues" (this is not true; things like performance issues and even the excessive use of force, or even general layoffs of force due to reorganisation, aren't uncommon) and that failure or success of policemen is entirely based on character traits. Daly notes this is "illogical to a businessman" that there is no mandatory character training for cops, despite the fact that anything above "beat cop" level requires specific college-level training (and increasingly, even street cops have to attend collegiate level police academies) and that this training does include not only ethical training but training in community relations, use of force, etc.
13:40: Daly uses young men with tattoos, piercings, and "mohawks on one side" (describing more of mullets or "emo hair") as signs of poor character, and literally promotes boot camp as a cure (not surprising, knowing Gothard's history in the "Bible based boot camp" industry including a "Bible based reform school" in Indianapolis that was shut down due to repeated reports of child abuse--much less the "ALERT Teams" paramilitary group). Daly claims boot camp works because "they appeal to the boy's heart" and "let him be part of a team" (whilst team cohesion is part of boot camp's appeal, the actual purpose is to get soldiers to submit to authority, obey commands from a superior officer immediately, and get them in "fighting fit" condition; not mentioned is that the US Armed Forces traditionally weeds out people physically, mentally, or "morally" unfit for service (present times being a major and notable exception) as 4F even during times of a draft).
14:50: Daly compares PDI courses for Cincinnati Police to military boot camp.
15:00 Daly notes attempts to recruit Romanian Federal Police (we will come back to this very frequently in this series) and also notes a representative from the Taiwanese Federal Police (he ends up being corrected by the rep).
15:10: Daly begins story about character traits people associate with fathers; he tells the Romanian Federal Police that his children are "better" because they don't call for their fathers three times in a row and brags that he never answers his children on the first "dad" "as long as he's been alive". (This is a subtle reference to Gothard's highly abusive childrearing tactics, which in part teach that children should never speak to their parents unless spoken to.) He then notes he is so inattentive to his youngest son (who apparently is quite young) that the poor kid has to grab his face to get attention and his mother suggests getting his dad's attention "when he looks up from work".
16:10: Daly again makes reference to IACC training seminars as a "secret weapon", promotes "Character Counts" as an alternative to practical skills training for policemen and other government officials (am I the only one who sees how this is dangerous as hell?) and even promotes this as a budget-cutting measure. Daly also offers explicit assistance from Cincinnati city government for Gothardisation (we wonder if this is in the budget).
17:30: Daly gives one of the frankest descriptions on how the "Character Counts" courses are used as Gothardist recruitment seminars, in a similar manner to how Scientology uses "Dianetics" and bogus "personality tests"; specifically, he recounts the giveaway "secular" version of the "Character Counts" guide as a specific tool to recruit policemen into the Gothard cult proper--by pointing out his use of the "blue book" which is used in IBLP "Basic" courses and promoting it as the "spiritual version" of the "green book". (The two guides are identical, save for the use of religious references in the "blue book" that were expurgated from the IACC version.) He ends the seminar with an exhortation for attendees to be "apostles for character" (this is a very subtle reference to "fivefold ministry" in "Joel's Army" groups--in fact, the very specific role of "apostles" in these groups is to specifically plant new churches).
"Joel's Army" theology, straight from the horse's mouth
Police Dynamics Institute itself runs a number of distinct websites, including policedynamics.com, dynamicofwellness.com, police-dynamics.com, and others; dynamicofwellness.com could even be seen as a PDI frontgroup, as it advertises itself largely as a fitness website and not as a police website. (Yes, this sort of thing is distressingly common with many of the really coercive groups; the Moonies, for example, have sushi companies as fronts, and Scientology has especially taken this to a black art. Yes, "matushka dolls" of fronts are also distressingly common.)
Some of the particularly damning links here also show up with some of the PDI websites. One particular article focuses on PDI's links with ALERT Teams--a paramilitary training facility for young "God Warriors"--which itself uses the very "Joel's Army" title "CRASHing the Gates of the Stronghold" and which was apparently authored by no less than Nash himself:
A top priority of the plan was the reclamation of communities controlled by criminals. The key to fighting crime is eliminating its source of strength -- criminal strongholds. Strongholds develop when there is a breakdown in the value system and family stability of a given neighborhood creating an environment that is conducive to crime. In these strongholds criminals operate with impunity, ruling the streets through fear and intimidation. As the social structure and moral integrity continue to decay, a general sense of helplessness and despair sets in, making the area even more attractive to the criminal element. Open air drug markets and other criminal enterprises often force law-abiding citizens to move out or seek seclusion within their homes.
As criminals become more entrenched in the stronghold, they often venture out into other neighborhoods to commit their evil deeds, then retreat back into the security of the stronghold. Thus strongholds become a major contributor to the crime and delinquency problem throughout the jurisdiction. Crime will continue to be a problem as long as the stronghold continues to exist, producing one generation of criminals after another. Conventional law enforcement methods are largely ineffective against criminal strongholds.
. . .
So, in early April 1997, the Community Response Against Strong Holds (C.R.A.S.H.) team was born in Dorchester County. C.R.A.S.H. is a comprehensive team concept designed to demolish criminal strongholds. The program is best described as a multifaceted effort to reclaim troubled neighborhoods physically, mentally and spiritually.
. . .
The agency began the process of shifting from an organizational philosophy that was almost exclusively achievement-based to one based on the principles of good character. Character First TM and Police Dynamics training were implemented on a department-wide basis and continue to this day.
Then the C.R.A.S.H. Team began its work. The first order of business was to "Breach the Wall" by establishing a point of contact, a toehold in the stronghold. In the case of Stratton Capers, it was a Christian community center called the Lighthouse Mission. The Lighthouse became our base of operations and it was from here that we began our initial entry into the heart of Stratton Capers.
The "kick-off" day, set for May 10, included a block party as well as a special Law Enforcement Parade designed especially for Stratton Capers. Deputies, their spouses, reserve deputies, cadets, EMS personnel, firefighters and children from the neighborhood went door-to-door handing out flyers and talking to residents at every household. The response was overwhelmingly positive. We knew then that the block party, the parade and the insertion of the C.R.A.S.H. Team would be a success.
. . .
Since that day Stratton Capers has established a civic association that remains active in the neighborhood reclamation project. We "Established a Permanent Presence" when an old home that was renovated by county inmates became our new Sheriff's sub-station. Property next to the sub-station was donated for a playground and a volunteer organization called A.L.E.R.T. built the playground equipment with materials donated from local businesses.
(There is a LOT of neopentecostal-dominionist-ese and "Joel's Army" lingo in this article. The term "stronghold" is straight from "Joel's Army" concepts of "spiritual warfare" and "deliverance ministry"; the general idea is that entire areas can literally be possessed by the devil or by "territorial spirits" serving the devil, and that these "strongholds" must be "named and claimed"; it's taught that areas of criminal activity are literally possessed and that their descendants are subject to "generational curses". There is also subtle reference to "criminal elements" as being akin to the "serpent seed"--the descendants of the devil--as well.)
In addition to the PDI documents revealed by the Cincinnati Beacon as well as the IACC seminar film, there's a surprising amount of info promoting abusive "discipling and shepherding" on their own pages as well--at one point literally stating that if a police officer is not actively being shepherded they are likely to become rogue cops.
Tomorrow--how dominionists use PDI in establishing their own toeholds for Joel's Army...and how Gothard's cult is doing frighteningly well in subverting the largest Protestant denomination in the US.
Tips? Post 'em in the comments, or feel free to mail dogemperor (dot) dkos (at) gmail (dot) com. I will keep tips anonymous upon request--hell, I post pseudonymously because of the risk :D