Patricia Nell Warren

The Teflon Don... With Lipstick

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | October 30, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Joel's Army, New Apostolic Reformation, Prop 8, religious cults, religious violence, Sarah Palin

As the election nears, it's staggering to see how Sarah Palin's association with an international extremist religious cult is still kept off the top TV news. MSNBC has bravely talked about it, of course, as have the Huffington Post, Salon and other independent media. But a glass ceiling of news management keeps anything scary about Palin from rising above it. This explains why the story has not reached maximum visibility in most of the major corporate media.

Heaven forbid that Fox News or CNN would tell Americans the whole truth: that the cute hockey mom is palling around with a minister who openly advocates violence as the best way to establish the New Apostolic Reformation as our government. Or that the cult is busy whipping up thousands of young Americans into a so-called Joel's Army that is intended to spearhead the take-over.

Or that Palin made appointments in Alaska that opened the door to direct missionizing of Alaskan citizens by her religion -- actions of hers that (in my opinion) directly violate the separation of church and state.

Indeed, Palin's ethics record as governor of Alaska is none too shiny, as reported in some detail by Troopergate and the Alaskan Independent Party aren't the only questions about Palin that the McCain campaign has tried to "newsmanage." With the broad TV sanitizing and celebritizing that Palin gets, and her seeming ability to evade the most negative political consequences of her actions, the Republican vice-presidential candidate is starting to look like a Telfon Don With Lipstick.

To put it another way -- only a Teflon Don With Lipstick could get herself positioned as the 2012 candidate of choice for the Republican Party, as Palin is now doing.

Whack Job

In the last couple of weeks, Palin has clearly made efforts to leave McCain in her dust. The Huffington Post reports, "One of John McCain's advisers recently called his running mate Sarah Palin a 'diva' after she went off-script at a rally, and suggested she was looking after her own political future over the current campaign. Now another adviser ups the ante in a conversation with the Politico's Playbook, labeling Palin a 'whack job.' " A growing number of Republicans are alarmed at Palin's behaviour.

Yesterday, at, Roger Simon commented: "Sarah Palin may soon be free. Soon, she may not have the millstone of John McCain around her neck. And she can begin her race for president in 2012. Some are already talking about it. In careful terms. If John McCain loses next week, Sarah Palin 'has absolutely earned a right to run in 2012,' says Greg Mueller, who was a senior aide in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes. Mueller says Palin has given conservatives 'hope' and 'something to believe in.' "

Americans who know Pat Buchanan as an old warrior of ultraconservative American religion (he's a fundamentalist Catholic) won't be surprised to see his cohorts linking to Palin cohorts with an eye to the future. When Buchanan took his shots at Presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, he failed to get the kind of fervid support from a segment of American voters that Palin is pulling now. Let's face it -- the young hockey mom is a sugar-coated image that far-right American voters are swallowing more easily than they did the old paleoconservative in a suit. She claims to be energizing the "Republican base." But clearly the base she energizes is white and fundamentalist.

Profile of a Cult

The New Apostolic Reformation, aka the Third Wave, aka Joel's Army, is led by self-styled chief "apostle" C. Peter Wagner, and a group of other "apostles" and "prophets." Some consider Palin to be among those "prophets." Among the distinguished investigative organizations reporting on the NAR is the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC has an excellent report posted on Joel's Army. One prominent NAR figure is Canadian charismatic preacher Todd Bentley, who is at the heart of organizing the army. On Bentley's Fresh Fire ministry website in British Columbia, Bentley has said openly, "An end-time army has one common purpose -- to aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion."

At the moment, Bentley is in trouble -- his organization recently demanded that he step down after they learned he was in a relationship with a woman other than his wife. But there will be others who rush to step into Bentley's shoes -- the lure of power and money will be too great to resist.

As Pentecostals, the NAR are such extremists that even some of the old-school pentecostals and evangelists shun them as "unbiblical." Indeed, Sarah Palin herself has stayed low-profile with her NAR associations. Publicly she keeps herself positioned as a generic user-friendly fundamentalist, for fear of losing the vote of evangelicals and pentecostals who don't like the NAR. I have detailed Palin's NAR closeness in other commentaries here at Bilerico.

While LGBT activists have been fighting "yes on 8" efforts by old-school evangelicals, Catholics and Mormons, they've paid little attention to the growing presence of NAR and Joel's Army in the California Prop 8 battle. The energies of mass frenzy that fuel this movement can be seen in the disturbing ad [below] for "The Call," an upcoming anti-gay event on November 1 in San Diego.

iPhone users: Click to watch

The Call is a series of mass pentecostal rallies that has been held in several major cities across the country. According to People for the American Way, Lou Engle, founder of The Call, is closely associated with the NAR and Joel's Army movement. Engle has endorsed Palin's candidacy, and talks about it as a "war for America, for our families, and for our children. And this war, we cannot afford to lose." I wouldn't be surprised if Palin put in a surprise appearance at the San Diego event, to garner a last few votes for Prop 8 and herself.

Organizing the Violence

We know how the original Teflon Don ended up. New York mafia head John Gotti did manage to avoid prosecution for so many years that he inspired awe with his talents at legal slipperiness. But teflon does wear off. In 1992 Gotti was finally sent to prison, where he died 10 years later.

Some might say I'm over the top to allege that Sarah Palin is in the same category as a Mafia don. But the rumblings of violence and religious war coming from this cult movement have me very concerned. And I'm even more concerned that a mother of small children would associate herself with such bloodthirsty rumblings. It doesn't augur well for what the movement's behaviour will be if they get the kind of momentum in the U.S. that they're already getting in some foreign countries. For example, Palin's associate, pastor Thomas Muthee, is associated with a series of ugly incidents and massacres in his native Kenya, where his preaching touched off lethal mob actions against people deemed to be "demon-possessed" enemies of Muthee's church.

My point is -- organized crime first got its hold in 1930s America through use of systematic and targeted violence that we would call domestic terrorism today -- only it was mobsters with tommy guns and souped-up Model T Fords. Today the Mafia has receded, and is being replaced by white supremacist and ethnic gangs that are swamping many American cities with the same old kind of terrorism, but backed up by late-model weapons. An organized out-of-control religious cult with a self-appointed mandate for violence and absolute rule isn't going to operate much differently than organized crime. When leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation talk about their "armies" and "violence," Americans have to understand that they're not talking in metaphors. The NAR is not going to come at their enemies with rose petals and powerpuffs.

Indeed, I'm wondering how the foreign figures in this movement -- i.e. non-citizens like Kenyan pastor Thomas Muthee and Canadian pastor Todd Bentley -- can get away with organizing so openly on U.S. soil. For instance, Bentley just ran a noisy Joel's Army youth-recruiting movement in Florida for four months. Is the Justice Department awake? Have they checked Bentley out? Have they bothered to look at the YouTube video of Muthee's sermon about violence? Why is our government allowing these activities by non-citizens who say they aim to get rid of current government and establish a global rule by "King Jesus?" Especially after all the conservative clatter about Obama and his alleged association with foreign terrorists?

As Americans go to the polls, I can only hope that Obama and Biden score a clear win. If they don't, I will consider that the major news media who failed to report fully on Palin's background have violated the public trust in the grossest kind of way.

Recent Entries Filed under Fundie Watch:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Whoosh! Patricia.. this is even worse that I thought it could be, I do hope LOTS of folks will be staying on top of these wackos!

Lance Webster | October 30, 2008 4:49 PM

Anyone who believes Obama has a comfortable lead must go to youtube and view this movie. It's in 10 parts:
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 1 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 2 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 3 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 4 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 5 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 6 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 7 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 8 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 9 of 10
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote Part 10 of 10

Don't let up.

A lot of people have been valiantly trying to tell American voters what the score really is...from activist organizations working on the vote to the indie media that are reporting on the church machinations.

If Americans bite into the poisoned apple that the Republicans have picked for them, I think the moment will come when they are going to be sorry. Maybe not right away, but down the road somewhere. A lot of people will be complaining and carrying on, and saying, "How did this happen?" "Why weren't we told?"

Well, they were told...but they didn't pay attention.

When I watch that video of TheCall and see the scenes of all the thousands of arms angled up in prayer and collective frenzy, the first thing I think of is the Nazi rallies of the 1930s. Their website,, has more videos like this, that send a chill down my spine.

Palin is a frightening cow with lipstick. The media has already let us down, time and time again. My prediction is that Obama wins The White House.

Have you seen Rick Warren's ads for Prop. 8 ? Rick Warren is even more dangerous towards a theocracy in that he passes for many as a "good pastor" and attracted both candidates to his church to debate. Every book he writes is a best seller. If we lose our battle against Prop 8, we can point a finger at that debate as the cause. The move towards a theocracy away from a democracy is huge and insidious.

I agree. As someone who spent some years living in a country with state religion and a fascist government (Spain in ther 1960s), I can see so many Americans hearing the siren song of preachers like Warren. The concepts that these ministers are preaching sound so reasonable, so "American" to some voters.

But these Americans have NO idea what they're inviting in the door when they invite state religion. NO CLUE.

I also lived in Spain during the 60's. The Island of Ibiza, homeless. Franco was watching us young gays, and paranoia was the soup de jour.. Life on the mainland in Madrid was worse. Have you seen the latest homophobic remarks from the Queen of Spain. When single young gays get liberated and self confident in their own friendly community and OUT propoganda magazines, bars, the sex clubs, watching Bravo Will and Gace shows, they think what's the problem we have arrived. Wrong. When kids think everyone accepts gay life and are confident they get murdered like Matthew Sheppard, it's too late. Evangelicals want us to change in their mindset or else be dead. It is the nature of their teaching to convert the world and be "born again", but not as LGBT.

Re Queen Sophia of Spain: I looked to find out what she actually said. In part, the comment in her recently published autobiography was: "If those people want to live together, dress up like bride and groom and marry, they could have a right to do so, or not, depending on the law of their country, but they should not call this matrimony, because it isn't. There are many possible names: social contract, social union."

This statement -- which sounds like some U.S. pro-Prop 8 propaganda -- is all the more shocking because it was made in a newly democratic country that legalized same-sex marriage several years ago. Two gay male friends of mine were the first to become joined in Spanish civil marriage. Her statement is a slap in the face of every Spanish couple who married under the law since then.

Up till now, the Spanish royals (who got the throne back by arrangement of fascist dictator Franco before he died in 1975) have positioned themselves as figureheads of change...of the realization by many Spaniards that they needed to throw off state religion and join today's community of democratic nations. But it looks like that is changing.

I'm looking forward to her running her own campaign in 2012. She already has a pretty bad approval rating, so she can lose another election for the GOP.

Yes, that's an enjoyable prospect. Actually I think that prospects are good for the religious right to get into fighting with each other big-time. The way they tear into us is the same way they tear into each other.

For one thing, the old-school fundamentalists who want women to "keep silent" as per Paul's teachings do NOT approve of Sarah Palin running for anything. In their view, she is required by the Bible to be subject to her husband, so she can't possibly govern. It hasn't been in the news much, but they are having a COW over Palin's candidacy.

There are other things they can all fight about too. In fact, that IS the story of Protestantism -- the bitter fights and splits, the burning each other at the stake, to the point where there are now hundreds of different churches and sects.

So Sarah Palin as a candidate for President in 2012 would probably cause a major schism, with the Old Guard biblethumpers leaving the Republican Party, and starting their own party, or joining up with the Independents or Constitution Party, or some such.

So in the long run, the big falling-out could possibly work in our favor.

The New Apostolic Reformation, aka the Third Wave, aka Joel's Army, is led by self-styled chief "apostle" C. Peter Wagner, and a group of other "apostles" and "prophets." Some consider Palin to be among those "prophets."

They're the Freemasons of Alaska. :)

Hmm. Can you explain what you mean in a bit more detail? I'm sure the NAR don't feel very friendly towards the Freemasons, whom they consider to be the spawn of Satan.

Wisdoms Naked, Unofficially I can respond from years of watching ATF....Sarah Palin and her Church activities will eventually be found out. I would expect that Alcohol Tobacco and FireArms are watching carefully as major groups have moved from Idaho to Alaska over the last 5 years to her Church. It took decades of rooting out the Idaho, Oregon Aryan (sp?) Nations Compounds, as so much legal proof is needed. A Chicago billionnaire has spoken about his concerns that McCain/Palin
anger against Americans who won't practice their kind of "Americanism"- could be the same as the North Idaho Aryan Nation problems that he helped ATF resolve in the late 1980s?

I feel those Journalists are baiting Palin by not putting too much in the headlines so that when they interview her personally they can grab her stupidity first hand.

It amazes me that in wartime people could extoll a person who has committed treason by American legal standards. Didn't you people settle this matter once and for all at a courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia in April of 1865?

I thought the issue was settled too...not only with the Civil War, but afterwards, with the action that the U.S. government took when they sent troops against Deseret, the independent state that had been set up by the Mormon Church in defiance of the Monroe Doctrine.

Since then, there have been rumblings and chatterings about this and that state...including in California, where northern California would like to shuffle off southern California. But as far as I know, none that has gone as far into organizing as the Alaskan Independence Party.

In my view, the federal government is already so entwined with the hard-core right at the command level that it is already complicated for them to respond to a clear threat like this, that is coming from "within," rather than "without," like Al Quaeda.