It read like a chapter out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, instead this time, the evil protagonists were not Jews (for the most part) but rather rightwing anti-gay zealots whose secret Facebook group was infiltrated by undercover moles who then spread the word to gay activists who then trumpeted the news across the airways and throughout cyberspace. In reality, the sensationalistic reports were totally false and what was true is hardly sensational.
The Facebook group in question is called Truth4Time, and contrary to gay blog posts and articles, it was not disbanded this week – not for a split second – nor are there any plans to disband it. (As one of the group’s administrators, I have firsthand knowledge of this.) The group is private (at present, and by design, with less than 100 members) and it was formed last year by a young man who wanted “to counter the comments made by the homosexualists that are made on articles published and posted by . . . pro-family warriors” including “Peter LaBarbera, Dr. Michael Brown, Linda Harvey, Matt Barber, etc.”
Some of us in the pro-family camp had noticed that when we posted articles on Christian websites, our articles were immediately bombarded by hostile gay commenters, and so it seemed like a great idea to have a Facebook group that could respond fairly and honestly to these comments while pooling relevant documents that summarized important research and news. We also became aware of gay activists who were trolling various pro-family Facebook pages, reporting them as hate-sites and trying to shut them down, and we wanted to expose this.
So, why all the fuss? And how did this relatively benign group merit a headline like this in the Huffington Post: “Truth4Time, Secret Religious Right Facebook Group, Included NOM Co-Founder, Fox News Pundit And More”? (To the credit of the editor in the Huffpost Gay Voices section, he responded to me immediately when I raised concerns about the factual content of the article, he was courteous and helpful from first to last, and he posted my corrections within the text of the article itself.)
What about the “big names” involved in this nefarious, clandestine group, including Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow? The simple truth is that one of the administrators added their names so they could have access to the group, but they were never present on the Facebook site and, to the best of my knowledge, never knew the group existed or had any idea their names had been added. So much for the smoking gun!
One online comment mocking Truth4Time asked if this was the best we could do with all the money we had. (After all, NOM and Fox have deep pockets!) What money? Not a dime has been invested in the Facebook page nor is there any money available to invest. This is simply a small group of people (some public figures but most not) wanting to combat gay cyber-bullying in an organized, truthful, and respectful way. A more relevant question would be, Why is a small, unfunded, grassroots, Facebook group perceived to be such a threat? And what is the big secret that gay activists have uncovered?
Signorile reported that his gay informant had learned of “a plan, whether it will come to fruition or not, to bombard physicians and school boards with negative and distorted information about the gay community.”
Actually, there was never a plan to “bombard” anyone with anything. Rather, one member posted a comment asking for help in getting information to doctors about the health-risks associated with homosexual activity, as documented by the CDC. (In response to this point, which was posted as a correction at the end of the HuffPost article, the aforementioned gay informant noted that “the CDC has said that racism, poverty, and homophobia play a big role.” But of course! There are no special health risks associated with men having sex with men. How could we miss that?)
The real irony here is that gay activist organizations with tens of millions of dollars in their combined budgets (think HRC and the NGLTF and Lamda Legal and GLAAD and GLSEN, among many others, not to mention their mega-rich straight allies) are doing their best to lobby Congress, influence political races, win court cases, indoctrinate our kids, and flood the media with their message, while in times past, gay activists have used the web to thwart prominent personalities like Dr. Laura (remember the Stop Dr. Laura campaign?). Now, a little Facebook group bands together (quite informally at that) to combat gay cyber-bullying, and suddenly, there’s outrage and shock and disgust. How dare we!
But I’ve divulged enough secrets. I need to get back to the Protocols to learn what our next evil plot will be. And be forewarned. We are everywhere.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire, and his latest book is The Real Kosher Jesus.