Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bradlee Dean’s application for martyrdom IV

He showed us his scars

This showed up on a YCR blog in the last day or two:

I came into the auditorium, dreading having to sit through a boring lecture…or so I thought! When Bradlee Dean began to speak to our school of 1,800 students, it was electrifying. Although I was sitting in the back corner of the room, it was as if there was no one else there, and every word was spoken directly to me.  Bradlee did not come across like the same-old sophisticated speaker who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He spoke with such passion and truth that it was impossible NOT to walk away unaffected! He did not beat around the bush and say things “nicely” so as not to hurt the “poor youth” who “have it so rough.” No - he loved us enough to tell us “No!” and mean it. He showed us his scars [emphasis added] and I could not get the truth he spoke out of my heart and mind.

What? Stigmata?

One question that ought to be popping into your minds, boys and girls, is what is Bradley Dean Smith doing talking to 1,800 students? And what is he talking about? Did he come by himself, or did he bring the whole Singing Gantrys Band?

It if was a public school, and it most likely was, he probably snuck in under false pretenses:

When he was writing for the Minnesota Independent (it may have been called the MInnesota Monitor back then), Jeff Fecke wrote an article about Smith’s stealth tactics in gaining entrance to public school audiences. Here’s what Smith said at a YCR annual meeting a few years ago:

“We passed out over 100,000 [religious] tracts in public high schools because God said. Not because some tyrannical government wants to try telling us what we can say and what we can’t say, because we know what the Constitution says,” said Dean. “We know who the problem is, nothing’s changed in two thousand years.”

Dean’s ministry may not believe in the separation of church and state, but they seem well aware that public school administrators do.  And they have repeatedly run afoul of school officials and students in recent years for promising to run a program on abstinence and drug abuse, and mentioning God only when in front of students.  And by doing so, they’ve been able to earn thousands of dollars per event from public schools that later express surprise about the group’s brand of hardline Christianity.

Here’s one example of Smith’s tactics and his message:

In 2003, in Benton, Wisconsin, Dean and his band, Junkyard Prophet, performed at Benton High School for students in grades 7-12.  According to an article in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Dean “condemned homosexuality and the teaching of evolution in schools” in the process of speaking about abstinence and drug use.

“They had a captive audience for their message, and that wasn’t right,” said Benton Principal Gary Neis, according to the article.  Neis later would call an assembly to apologize to students for the group’s decision to stray into religion.

“They talked about influencing and brainwashing people. Be wise to the fact that is what they were doing. They were using the same tactics,” Neis told the students.

Here’s another:

A year later, in Tennessee, Dean brought his group to speak and perform at Roane County High School.  And the story was much the same.

According to the Oak Ridger, “RCHS Principal Jody McLoud apologized for any controversy or heartache the assembly generated. In addition to homosexuality, race and obesity [now, that one’s rich], the materials reportedly also included such topics as suicide, drugs and premarital sex.”

“They encouraged bigotry and hate-mongering toward children that may not share their religious beliefs or who are struggling to find an identity or self-esteem,” said Laura Dailey, a parent of a Roane County High student, according to the article.  The school district was forced to deal with the controversy by reiterating its policy that “forbids religious statements in schools.”

Jeff also got some insights from Sara Robinson, who along with David Neiwert, is one of the best fundamentalist-eliminationist watchers out there:

Writer Sara Robinson, who has followed the fundamentalist movement for the weblog Orcinus, said that she thought the group was “organized very specifically to get either drug treatment money or abstinence money.”  And she said that she wasn’t surprised that Dean, a former addict who now claims drug addiction is a myth, would feel okay about using bait-and-switch tactics to gain entry to schools, and access to taxpayer money.”

Robinson, who was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, said Dean’s group reminded her of speakers she had heard as a child.

“There was a person in the movie The Cross and the Switchblade named Nicky Cruz, who was a gang leader in New York, and [evangelist] David Wilkerson,” she said.  “They were huge on the church circuit.  There have always been these people who have sold their testimony.  That’s the … tradition that [Dean is] working at, he’s readapted it for the 21st century.”

Robinson said that Dean’s road from addiction to religion was commonplace in the fundamentalist movement.

“It’s very common in religious movement to find addicts because it scratches the same itch,” she said.  “It lets them keep their demons at bay.  There is a heavy bliss state that is addictive all on its own.  And there’s also the good two-minute hate,” she said, saying that anger at “others” was a powerful draw for fundamentalists.

It is apparent that YCR is an organization designed to hoover up public money (tax free) so that talentless and unschooled hacks can pay themselves handsome salaries while complaining about the provision of health care services to the poor. Disgusting is the most charitable word I can think of to describe it.

Here’s the link again to Jeff Fecke’s article. Please read it. There are many more examples of Smith’s abusive behavior in it.

Thanks to Avidor for some of the links.

Here are links to part one, part two, and part three in the series.

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