Tuesday, May 7, 2019

IOF: Brian S. Brown wants money to fund what the money won't fund

B.S. Brown is quite appropriate.
Embed from Getty Images
Brian S. Brown in Verona
I have received an email from Brian S. Brown on behalf of International Organization for the family titled: The fruit of love is life 💕. Brown is president of the Howard Center for Family Religion and Society which does business as World Congress of Families (WCF) and International Organization for the Family (IOF). Whatever the initials or assumed names, the whole thing is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

One of the problems with writing about WCF or IOF is that the finances are opaque. WCF's “congresses” are paid for by money that flows through an unknown entity in an unknown locale. From inception the Howard Center has been associated with hard right Russian figures and the Russian Orthodox Church. There is some evidence that these events, these “congresses,” are actually funded by Russian oligarchs.

Tuesday's email from Brian S. Brown is like all emails from Brown. He is requesting money and doing so disingenuously. I'll get to the text in a moment but the landing page for the donation links includes this:

That is simply untrue. IOF is not a 501(c)3.

As for the text of the missive, Brown is Brown and IOF must be a victim:
… As I have said previously, this World Congress brought us to a transformation point where the attacks by our critics have galvanized the overwhelming majority of the public which knows that nurturing the natural family is a good, healthy and essential thing to do.

The media just does not know how to handle this new development. Consider, for example, the ugly coverage of the Congress from the Associated Press, which referred to our gathering as "a platform for right-wing extremists." The New York Times similarly described WCF XIII as "an international who's who of anti-abortion and anti-gay hard liners."
You will forgive me if I think that the AP and New York Times were relatively gentle. This is a hate group and should be identified as such. What the “overwhelming majority of the public” really knows is that there are numerous family structures which deserve respect and “nurturing.” The catechism of the Catholic Church is less relevant than the realities of what is best for the children raised in different forms of family.
But contrast that vitriol with the truth of what occurred in Verona, from the words of a prominent speaker at the Congress, the Mayor of Verona, Federico Sboarina: "This is the city of love, the city of Romeo and Juliet, and the fruit of love is life."
I have no argument with the mayor as he is not making an exclusionary or extremist statement. He might be hinting an agenda but we have no way of knowing his intent.

If you have guessed that the above links to a donation page you have guessed correctly.
While the fake news media portrays us as hateful, the people see the truth – we love the beauty of the natural family and appreciate the incredible benefits it provides to couples, children and entire societies.

It's that beauty that attracts people to support us, rejecting the lies and baseless charges leveled against us by our critics. It's why tens of thousands of people came to Verona to help celebrate the World Congress of Families, marching through the streets of the city, showing their joy and enthusiasm for our work, and for our cause.
IOF's definition of family is exclusionary and anti-gay for religious conformity. It is what attracts the Russian money.
Bigotry is not beautiful!
Brown follows the love and beauty BS with a matching donor scam:
Thanks to several generous supporters who witnessed first-hand the historic impact of the Verona World Congress, every contribution received by IOF will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total match of $200,000!
There might be some legitimate matching donor programs but the presumption is that this is just restructuring funds already received or it might not exist at all. In 2017 total receipts for the entire year were only $205,136. About half of that was spent on salaries with another $70 thousand on functional expenses. There is no indication that one dime financed WCF events. In fact Brown is not paid by the Howard Center/IOF/WCF. His compensation probably flows from the off-the-books donations to that undisclosed entity.
Therefore:
Brown wants donations to fund global events. Those donations are claimed to be tax deductible which means that they are going to an organization which does not spend money on the events for which Brown claims the money will be used. On top of that there is the matching donor BS. The self-righteous Brian S. Brown is a liar which doesn't seem to bother him. Lying for what he believes is a good cause is perfectly acceptable in his orbit.

Eventually people figure out who the con artists are. Perhaps that is why Brown's other gig, National Organization for Marriage, is on financial life support and only exists to raise money to continue to exist.

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