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KONY 2012: Save the Children, Kill the Gays?

April 4, 2012

Privileged White Youth - Making a Difference Since the release of its video, KONY 2012, the group Invisible Children has taken a lot of criticism. Most innocuously, it has been accused of promoting ‘slacktivism‘ – (you know, ‘conquering injustice through wristbands’.) What’s so wrong with that? We’re talking about an organization which sucks up the oxygen surrounding the issue, diverting resources from other efforts which might actually help the victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

There has also been some, though not much, coverage of the group’s background in Christian fundamentalist propaganda.

Is Invisible Children a nonprofit devoted to human needs, or is it a ministry devoted to bringing souls to Jesus ?

We’ve seen some backlash against the idea of the “white savior complex.”

Finally, there has been significant criticism of the fact that Joseph Kony is no longer even in Uganda, the war is  technically over, and the Ugandan military the filmmakers have embraced  is itself guilty of rape and pillage.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realise they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away.

That’s a lot of criticism, enough to make one of the group’s founders lose it.  But before you feel too sorry for these young activists whose hearts are probably filled with only the best of intentions, consider one more piece of the puzzle:

Truth Wins Out expressed deep concern today that Invisible Children (IC), the non-profit made famous by its recent KONY 2012 video, shares profound ties with The Family (aka The Fellowship), the secretive fundamentalist organization widely believed to be behind Uganda’s infamous ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, which if passed would harshly punish LGBT people for the “crime” of homosexuality.

An exhaustive report released today by researcher Bruce Wilson reveals alarming social and professional associations between the two groups. This includes a network of elite evangelical indoctrination centers in Uganda, which groom Christian youth for future leadership roles in the country. The new report comes at a critical time, one day before Invisible Children releases its much-anticipated video sequel to KONY 2012.

Honestly, it should come as very little surprise that one American right-wing Christian group deeply concerned with ‘fixing” Uganda is closely tied to another. There has always been something unsettling about those earnest young men behind KONY 2012. It now appears that feeling was warranted, and the group deserves deeper scrutiny.

“Invisible Children has portrayed itself as a group of idealists, but new evidence suggests that they may be ideologues who are engaging in stealth evangelism,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Their profound ties to a notorious group like The Family raise alarming questions about the group’s genuine motives, actual goals, and real intentions.”

Don’t look now, but it seems Uganda is a staging ground for the religious right’s ugly brand of neocolonialism.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2012 3:41 pm

    I keep hearing that there’s an increasing gap between rich and poor states, but that world poverty is decreasing. Huh? . What are international organisations actually doing?? What goals have they reached in tackling poverty?.

  2. April 4, 2012 2:12 pm

    And there’s the silver lining. Also saw the maker of the Kony2012 video on YouTUBE from long ago instructing religious nuts on how to deceptively get people to do your bidding by hiding your evangelical agenda. (head in hands) Another asshole makes the news.

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