Reports tie the Invisible Children charity to gay-hostile groups
NEW REPORTS have tied Invisible Children, the charity behind internet smash hit “Kony 2012”, to right-wing groups hostile to gay rights.
Bruce Wilson, of the Talk to Action website, writes:
“Invisible Children, which has branded itself as welcoming cultural, religious, and sexual diversity, also enjoys extensive institutional and social ties to the global evangelical network known as The Fellowship (also known as ‘The Family’) – which has been credited with inspiring and providing ‘technical support’…for Uganda’s internationally-denounced Anti Homosexuality Bill, also dubbed the ‘kill the gays’ bill.”
According to Wilson:
“At least two of Invisible Children’s programs have involved collaboration with The Fellowship and and its members, and by 2007 – according to accounts from both Invisible Children and Fellowship members – Invisible Children had partially merged its developing school and mentoring programs in Uganda with The Fellowship’s Ugandan educational and leadership training system, which works to raise up a cadre of elite Jesus-centered leaders who will transform their nation along “Biblical” lines – with one apparent objective being the categorical elimination of homosexuality.”
Read Wilson’s report here.
Another reporter, writing on AlterNet, has dug out Invisible Children’s tax forms and found it shares funders with many evangelical and conservative groups whose outlooks don’t sit well with the likes of Oprah and Angelina Jolie, two of the high-profile “Kony 2012” enthusiasts. These groups include the Discovery Institute, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation, The Call, Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism. Along with Invisible Children, they reportedly received “at least $100,000 in 2008 from what has emerged in the last decade as the biggest funder of the hard, antigay, creationist Christian right: the National Christian Foundation”.
Read the AlterNet report here.
These ties certainly don’t chime with the love, peace and hipsterism message of the original “Kony 2012” campaign film. But, then again, Jason Russell, the charity’s front-man who is currently recovering from a meltdown involving public nudity and smashing up cars, has not exactly kept his evangelical leaning a secret. See his recent appearance at Liberty University for instance.
Taking money from organisations that fund other organisations with dodgy ideas is not an indictment in itself. What’s really problematic about Invisible Children is the way it reduces a complex situation to a simplistic message, its calls for international military action, its patronising depiction of Africans and its neo-colonialist pretensions. And all those things were apparent in the original “Kony 2012” video.
The interest in the follow-up film, “Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous”, has been tame compared to the enthusiasm surrounding the first film. At the time of writing it has been viewed nearly 15,000 times on YouTube since launching on Wednesday. The first film has attracted more than 86million views on YouTube. Watch “Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous”: