Did the Ensign Confrontation over His Affair Take Place at a “Family” Gathering?

picture-105.thumbnail.pngAs I linked to unwittingly in a past post, journalists are particularly interested in Tom Coburn’s take on John Ensign’s affair because they live together. 

Reporters mobbed Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who shares an apartment with Ensign on Capitol Hill. "I’m not answering any Ensign questions," he announced. "You can ask all you want."

That home, of course, is where Doug Hampton claims a confrontation about Ensign’s affair occurred in February 2008.

Citizen92 asked a very good question in a past thread–where John Ensign and Tom Coburn share a place together.

I searched and the Hamptons didn’t own property in DC (city). Neither do the Ensigns. Neither do the Coburns. At least under their own names. Any ideas who owns the Coburn-Ensign pad? Or are they renters?

To which I asked whether or not Ensign and Coburn are members of The Family.

The Family, as Jeff Sharlet has reported, is a secretive fellowship that aims to mobilize pseudo-Christian issues to accrue power–what he described "a good old boy’s club blessed by God."

They were striving, ultimately, for what Coe calls "Jesus plus nothing" — a government led by Christ’s will alone. In the future envisioned by Coe, everything — sex and taxes, war and the price of oil — will be decided upon not according to democracy or the church or even Scripture. The Bible itself is for the masses; in the Fellowship, Christ reveals a higher set of commands to the anointed few. It’s a good old boy’s club blessed by God.

As Jeff has reported, the Family owns a C Street house in which–at least as recently as 2002 or 2003–Ensign lived.

The brothers also served at the Family’s four-story, redbrick Washington town house, a former convent at 133 C Street S.E. complete with stained-glass windows. Eight congressmen—including Senator Ensign and seven representatives—lived there, brothers in Christ just like us, only more powerful. We scrubbed their toilets, hoovered their carpets, polished their silver.

And in his book, Jeff reported that Coburn lived in the house when still a Congressman.

The rules forbid Brownback to reveal the names of his fellow members, but those in the [prayer] cell likely include some of the men with whom he lived in the Family’s C Street House for congressmen: Representative Zach Wamp of Tennessee, former representative Steve Largent of Oklahoma, and Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, then a representative …

In other words, the Ensign-Coburn "home" is either still that C Street house, or a place they’ve moved to together after having both lived in the home owned by the Family in the early 2000s. 

Well, so what? What’s the significance of the possibility that this confrontation took place at a gathering of members of "the Family," aside from the obvious hypocrisy?

I was interested because, if you believe Hampton’s letter was part of a veiled threat to Ensign, then his description of the confrontation may be designed to implicate others beyond Coburn (whose mention may have been a coded reference to invoke their Family-connected home). Here’s what Hampton said:

The unethical behavior and immoral choice of Senator Ensign has been confronted by me and others on a number of occasions over this past year. In fact one of the confrontations took place in February 2008 at his home in Washington DC (sic) with a group of his peers. One of the attendee’s (sic) was Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma as well as several other men who are close to the Senator. Senator Ensign’s conduct and relentless pursuit of my wife led to our dismissal in April of 2008. I would like to say he stopped his heinous conduct and pursuit upon our leaving, but that was not the case and his actions did not subside until August of 2008. 

Hampton mentions not just Coburn, but "a group of his peers … several other men who are close to the Senator." Which might be his baseball team, or it might be members of the Family. And Hampton goes on to describe his worries about harm to his family.

The actions of Senator Ensign have ruined our lives and careers and left my family in shambles. We have lost significant income, suffered indescribable pain and emotional suffering. We find ourselves today with an overwhelming loss of relationships, career opportunities and hope for recovery. Our pursuit of justice continues to place me and my family in harm’s way as we fear for our well being (sic).

While the fears could stem from simple Nevada hardball politics, it might also stem from losing ties to a network of power like the Family. 

I don’t know the answer to the question–aside from the fact that both Coburn and Ensign at least used to live in the house owned by the Family. But it might explain the omerta surrounding Ensign’s affair. 

81 replies
  1. bgrothus says:


    I am not an English major, but is it possible to confront unethical behavior and immoral choice?

    Besides all the typo’s (sic) and such, of course.

  2. fatster says:

    I’m terribly behind today in reading your articles the comments, EW, so don’t know if this has been brought to your attention already.


    Also, I did find the article about Hillary and The Family. I linked it just a few articles back. Now to go read all I’ve missed while in the #*$(*&^# doctor’s office.

  3. bgrothus says:

    Oh, and with all that Family toilet scrubbing and what not, would it be impolite to inquire if a diaper service is also available?

    • whyknot says:

      That was damn funny! Not that this freaky-family shit is funny at all. Who are the real American Taliban? I say it’s the Republican saboteurs!

  4. Citizen92 says:

    Doug Hampton wrote in his “letter” –

    “The unethical behavior and immoral choice of Senator Ensign has been confronted by me and others on a number of occasions over this past year”

    That sounds pretty judgmental. Is Hampton part of “The Family” too? Maybe in a staff supporting role?

    Hampton’s tone sounds like someone who was a follower, gritted his teeth and took it, saw the hypocrisy, left the flock and then came back to criticize.

  5. emptywheel says:

    That’s what I’m wondering–the “loss of relationship” might suggest as much.

    But I’m keeping in mind your other points about fundraising scandals (and keep in mind, too, the partnership between Freedom’s Watch and NRSC this past cycle, under Ensign’s leadership (one almost wonders if Ensign didn’t lose his job early to keep the ties to NV)?

    So say she was complicit in that mess, and Ensign doinked her, and the family came to him and said, Dude, you’re going to fuck up a great financial scam we’ve got. And then they got rid of the Hamptons, they thought amenably, and Hampton’s threat is as much about exposing all that–whether it’s the Family or the finance stuff–as it is about Ensign per se.

    If hte Family was prepping to run Ensign as their candidate in 2012, the trial balloon to Fox would get quick ansewrs, I think.

    • Citizen92 says:

      So was “The Family” paying the Hamptons hush money too? Why did the responsibility fall to Ensign to make sure Doug, Cyndi and the kid were taken care of.

      Or did The Family’s monthly check to the Hamptons stop coming recently, prompting Doug to go off the rez?

  6. scribe says:

    I think we’re all overlooking – and that means Mr. Hampton, too – the central tenet in The Family: Scriptures are for the masses. God will reveal his decisions to the Chosen members of The Family, and govern them, and rule through them.

    Look also at a central tenet of just about every monotheistic faith which posits an omnipresent Supreme Being: Omnipresence means everything – and that means you, you and you, too – is in and of God. Nothing outside.

    Which means for example, among other things, that Mrs. Hampton does not belong to Mr. Hampton. Since she is in, and of God, for example, God can tell Senator Ensign that she now belongs to Senator Ensign and not Mr. Hampton. And Mr. Hampton, having to hew to the same belief system, would have to accept that.

    This all works perfectly well, so long as no one decides that “hey – that ain’t right!” for whatever reason: ego, maybe there’s a flaw in the presentation of the theology, greed, ambition, you name it. But, in a theology of this sort, there is enormous temptation for those who believe themselves to be “elect” (for lack of a better term) to take, use and enjoy just about anything and back it up with their “elect” status as all the reason and the only reason anyone need give for doing what it is they are doing. “God has revealed to me that …, and who are you to question it.”

    In this “Scriptures for the masses, revelation for the few who rule” sort of system, rules are for the masses, too.

    In this case, it seems that it’s the same old Washington game – “the rules don’t apply to me” – but done with a pseudo-religious cast.

    • behindthefall says:

      A good fit to the Leo Strauss-derived approach, now that you point that out. (This sounds like every half-cocked ‘divine right’ tyranny since back to the Pharoahs. Whadda we gotta do to kick this thing for good this time?)

    • BooRadley says:

      An excellent comment, as per usual.

      As an aside and fwiw, there are Xtians, such as Schubert Ogden, Ph.D., who have destroyed the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the all-knowing, eternal and immutable understanding of the Judaeo-Xtian God The Reality of God and Other Essays.

      Ogden attempts to fit the history of Xtianity/canonical and non-canonical scriptures, back into a “process” notion of God, who is neither eternal, unchanging, nor all-knowing.

    • TheraP says:

      I caught that too. That elistism. And that reminds me of the straussians, where the elite can even tell the noble lie – where the “masses” are lied to, where religion and state are fused. To me, this whole “family” thing fits with the straussians. And it reminds me of Opus Dei, which also operates via cells.

      This is some scary stuff here!

      Just noticed behindthefall @14 posted while I was writing this. We had the same thought. (that strengthens my hunch – just that someone else noticed the overlap here)

    • WilliamOckham says:

      “The Family” has some very unusual beliefs for a supposedly Christian group. The whole ’scripture for the masses, direct revelation for the few’ reminds me of the Gnostics. I’d quibble with your assertions on omnipresence, but this isn’t really a theology blog.

      • scribe says:

        and replying to @14, @15 and @16 as well.

        The “gnosticism” or whatever you want to call the whole revelation to the elect system of belief only “works” – if harmonious living is the objective – if and only if the person believing/living it sets aside both ambition and objectives. (As to The Family, the mere existence of the idea of an “elect” and “the masses” is a blatant “tell”, that their “theology” is so much internally-inconsistent bullshit.)

        That is to say, the human being cannot know the mind of God (so to speak) because the human being is not infinite and the mind of God is. The human being is not omnipresent, nor is it omniscient.

        The fundamental error into which most people who come to such a “gnostic” belief system wind up falling is that they decide they want a particular thing or result, and then cloak the actions they take to achieve it in pseudo-religious gobbledegook: “God told me that you have to give me your wife”, in this case. You can’t do that, if you want to be consistent. You can only listen and discern – and listen carefully. In this case, someone wanted someone else’s wife and made up a reason to justify it.

        In so many words, it’s the same error as the error inherent in petitionary prayer. When someone prays that they win the lottery, or that they get a particular result, they are undertaking to tell the deity what it is they want and then tell their deity to produce it for them. The limited human being telling the unlimited divine being to do X, because the human knows better…. You see the incongruity, I trust.

        I’m severely summarizing it, but there it is.

        In the case of The Family, it’s nothing more than a cult which uses religious language to cloak and excuse doing dirt to others. And, it would appear from the talk about cleaning toilets and polishing silver, it’s a cult which mixes in a good aliquot of heirarchical dominance behavior (another thing which doesn’t – can’t – work in a “gnostic” system because, in such a system, everyone is equal and no one is superior….).

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          I agree with you, but everytime we pray to St Anthony (after exhausting all possibilities), we find what we lost? Coincidence?

          • scribe says:

            Maybe that works for you, but it doesn’t work for me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve spent 10 minutes in the morning looking for the house keys, or the cell phone, but it’s a lot.

        • TheraP says:

          Cult. I am in absolute agreement. First of all a cult takes up all your free time. And your relationships. Yes, this definitely sounds like a cult. And it has elements of both the Opus and this fundamentalist prayer circle thing as well as the straussians. It all fits – too well.

          I personally don’t “buy” any concept of the Divine (of Holy Mystery as I prefer to say it) which is the special possession of any group. I don’t care what it’s called. I have more respect for honest atheists and agnostics than I do for christians who believe they are somehow in control of god or in some kind of elitist relationship with the divine. I’m not one for theology. But the holy people I have met have nothing in common
          with these folks who merge power and religion in the service of manipulating the rest of us.

          WO @ 34: that sounds like some kind of fraternity ritual, if you ask me! Again, cult-like.

        • BooRadley says:

          Great, concise, but accurate summary.

          Your analysis of petitionary prayer is particularly spot on. One of Martin Luther’s great insights was that the Catholic Church had de-evolved into paganism, substituting God the Father for Zeus, and a pantheon of lesser gods.

    • garyg says:

      Have you read Under The Banner Of heaven, the Krakauer book about the Mormon fundamentalists?

      • DonQuixote says:

        Amazon.com Review
        In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers’ claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal, cult-like order defied, these still-active groups, according to Krakauer, are capable of fighting back with tremendous violence. While Krakauer’s research into the history of the church is admirably extensive, the real power of the book comes from present-day information, notably jailhouse interviews with Dan Lafferty. Far from being the brooding maniac one might expect, Lafferty is chillingly coherent, still insisting that his motive was merely to obey God’s command. Krakauer’s accounts of the actual murders are graphic and disturbing, but such detail makes the brothers’ claim of divine instruction all the more horrifying. In an age where Westerners have trouble comprehending what drives Islamic fundamentalists to kill, Jon Krakauer advises us to look within America’s own borders. –John Moe

  7. hackworth1 says:

    Let go and let god –

    Palin/Ensign 2012

    Surely, we are human vessels for GAWD’s will, yet we are fallible human beings after all. Anybody got any meth? –

    Palin/Ensign 2012

  8. Citizen92 says:

    Last outburst…

    Was NRCC embezzler/treasurer Chris Ward somehow part of “The Family.” Was that how he got away with his fraud for years? Is that why he was so plugged into Family Member’s political finances as treasurer?

    • emptywheel says:

      I don’t get the sense tht Ward’s clients–aside from Ensign–necessarily overlap with teh Family’s members. But I’d have to go back to my lists on this stuff.

  9. emptywheel says:


    I emailed him about the home. That’s when he said he had seen Ensign at the house in 2002 to 2003. He did say he thought Coburn was too much of an asshole (not his word) to be much use to the Family.

  10. AZ Matt says:

    So Coburn was helping to cover up his buddy’s infidelity. Good Christian Coburn might need to explain that back in Oklahoma.

    Archie Bunker had better family values.

  11. NoOneYouKnow says:

    As a complete aside, I did business with an Opus Dei member recently. None too bright and very quick to be dishonest. So much for “leading a life of example.”

    • cbl2 says:

      thanks for the links – saw note of it in one of Kagro’s schedules the other day – without reading your link, I am confused as Kent had already resigned. Of course, I noticed he extended the resignation date to 2010, so maybe they impeached him to put the kibosh on the extended benefits


      • lllphd says:

        read the wiki story; it explains how it all unfolded (i.e., the retirement gambit was to keep getting income, conyers threatened to impeach if he didn’t resign but kent dated it for 2010, which further ticked conyers off, leading to the impeachment).

        • cbl2 says:


          and William Ockham is correct – read some of the Chron reporting on this, he’s lucky to have been sentenced only for the obstruction charge – what a pig

      • RevBev says:

        That’s exactly right….Judge salary & other benefits + retirement. Nice…while he’s already locked up

    • WilliamOckham says:

      It’s been a long-running local scandal here (in the Houston area). The wikipedia article is fairly reasonable, while leaving out the lurid details of the accusations. I’ll just say that impeachment is totally appropriate in this case.

      • scribe says:

        Suffice it to say that soon-to-be former judge Kent had too much – wayyyy too much – interest in his secretaries. Given the disposition of his criminal case, he got off easy. The sexual assault charges he got out of could have sent him away for the rest of his life.

  12. WilliamOckham says:

    I found an interesting Jeff Sharlet interview by Lindsay Beyerstein. It’s on scribd.com and I’m not sure of the original source, but here’s a bit on the Family’s view of sexual confession:

    Lindsay Beyerstein:
    Does the Family have a different perspective on sexual morality than mainstream fundamentalism?
    Jeff Sharlet:
    In one sense, their sexual morality is a very restrictive, traditional, fundamentalist morality. Yet one of their major influences was Frank Buchman of Moral Re-Armament in the 1930s. He was all but “out” as gay. But he was also one of the early architects of anti-gay invective on the Christian right. He even wrote a pamphlet on how to spot gay men: their green shoes and their affection for suede.
    Lindsay Beyerstein:
    Explicit sexual confession in small groups is a big deal in the Family, right?
    Jeff Sharlet:
    Yes. I started paying attention when I visited Westmont College, a major recruiting base for the Family. Some of the professors are very concerned about the focus on small group sex confessions: Parents are spending $80,000 to send their kids to college, and they go off to become a driver for Doug Coe. Then they tell their parents that they sat in a circle and talked about masturbation. Of course, they don’t do that sort of thing at the weekly prayer meeting in the Senate. Sam Brownback told me, there are two functions of sexual confession: You confess, and they help you. You say, “My girlfriend and I almost held hands the other day.” And they say “Don’t do it, brother!” It’s also a way of creating a bond in the group: If I have had gay thoughts and I tell the group, then they have something on me. And if you say you’ve cheated on your wife, they have something on you.

  13. cbl2 says:

    oooh, really like the idea of EW ferreting out any information here –

    hey millenia, how about a nice long walk ?

  14. belewlaw says:

    One irony: The Family’s C Street House was formerly the office of Ralph Nader’s Congress Watch and before that it was a convent.

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks for that–Was Nader able to get in on the Church tax exemption, too, or just the convent and the Family?

      And did I get the right Google street view of the house?

        • posaune says:

          EW, that’s the right house. we live on the next block in C Street.
          A few years ago, an opus dei couple who were living at “133 Home” tried to join up at st. peters (see NE corner of the block, diagonally across the intersection from Capitol Hill Suites). St. Pete’s had a reasonable pastor then, fairly liberal, inclusive, a kind fellow who let homeless folks sleep in the church basement. That right wing couple faded away. I met them at a picnic that year.

          But one thing I’ve noticed, since I drive by there every night looking for parking, is that people come & go all night from that place! really. the front porch light is on all night. one night, I parked right in front, and Barney Frank walked by — I think he was headed two doors down.

      • Citizen92 says:

        Yes, that’s it. The other side of the street is the Carter-era annex to the Library of Congress. It is (of course) conveniently located approx 3 doors down from the National Republican Club (dining hall) and the RNC (head office).

        • bmaz says:

          Can you imagine being their next door neighbors and seeing nothing but gobs of pasty old Republican white men (who collectively do have a certain reputation as of late) streaming into and out of the abode?

          “Gee mom, what are those old dudes doing next door??”

  15. emptywheel says:

    Politico is reporting that Jim DeMint is also a Family member.

    Coburn’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment. But another Ensign housemate, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, said that he knew nothing of the affair until this week and that “everybody was surprised.”

    And sure enough, DeMint is also a Family member.

  16. emptywheel says:

    Oh, and to answer Citizen92’s earlier question, sort of, Hampton apparently lived in the ‘Hood.

    As the manager of Ensign’s personal Senate office, Doug Hampton remained in Washington during the week at a Capitol Hill apartment, returning to his home in Las Vegas on weekends or during congressional recesses, sources said. A review of public records confirms that Doug Hampton was away from Nevada often, flying back and forth between Las Vegas and Washington 36 times between November 2006 and May 2008, sometimes on the taxpayers’ bill.

    From the same Politico story.

  17. Citizen92 says:

    Not sure about C Street, but the 100 block of D has been written up several times in the Hill, Roll Call, and Politico papers for its density of Congress people living/owning there. Lots of old people around, no kids. Only kids are interns and junior staffers at the Tortilla Coast bar on the corner of 1st and D.


    Not to to disappoint, in the linked story, the Politico tries to add question to what is a well-established fact with this statement: “U.S. Family Network, even though that group — allegedly a front for shady fundraising by a former DeLay aide.”

    • Citizen92 says:

      also from that Politico story I linked to @53:

      Then there are the five members who all share a C Street town house, paying little rent ($600 each) and living in bipartisan harmony, united by their Christian faith.

      The owner of the house is a group called the “Fellowship” and is described in press reports as a “secretive religious organization.”

      • bmaz says:

        Just a little slice ‘o real Americana there.

        Crikey, these are our elected representatives; this country is insane.

  18. TheraP says:

    The Family = The Fellowship. It apparently goes by different names. Here’s an article from 2003:

    There’s a not-so-vaguely creepy group of die-hard Christians in the nation’s Capital. The goal of this group is to maintain and grow a secret, intensely loyal group of Christians who are all bound together in a “covenant,” as they put it, like “the Mafia.” Many of your lawmakers are part of this group. And six of them live in a $1.1M house owned by this secretive Christian group, known variously as The Family, The Fellowship, The Foundation and many other names. These six legislators get bargain prices on rent ($600 for a room in the heart of D.C.), and, in exhange, The Family gets to keep them close. Very close.

    And, of course, the stuff that we know is likely only the tip of the iceberg, as The Family makes no secret of the fact that it likes to keep the extent of its influence secret.

    The links to Harpers (in the above article) are broken. But this works.

    Not sure if another article/writer is trustworthy, but it’s a huge long history of how one person (Wayne Madsen) sees the history of this “cult” or whatever: He calls it “The ‘Christian’ Mafia” and his long, detailed “history” is available here. (I read it a while back and found much of it far-fetched, but from it you can glean a sense of how widespread and insidious this kind of thing may be.) Read with caution is my advice. Nevertheless I’m beginning to wonder where the line of far-fetched is any more – when it comes to conservative republican “christianists”.

  19. emptywheel says:

    Yeah, for those of you who haven’t read Jeff’s Harper’s piece–or the piece on Hillary’s ties with the Family in the post–do read it. It’s creepy stuff.

    • TheraP says:

      Here’s the weird thing. I went to college in DC in the 60’s. And when I read that second long article, I recalled a weekend I went on during that time that was like a religious retreat. Except that by the end of it I concluded that something creepy and manipulative was going on. And it ended with people in a circle where one person told how his homosexuality had been “cured” – but there was something about the set-up that tipped me off. I recall when this guy finished speaking “breaking the spell” of the thing by saying how it seemed to me something manipulative was going on. Not sure what I said really, but truly I think I may have “seen” how these folks can ensnare people. How they build up a sense of “group feeling” in a religious context but there’s a hidden agenda. At least that was clear to me at the time.

      I read these articles a few weeks back when I was looking into the neocons/straussians. And I truly think this is mixed in with it.

      Creepy stuff, yes.

      And scary when I think back that as a young person they might have tried to lure me into something like that. (I think they were pretty mad that I called them on their tactics – right when they were trying to “close the deal” with a bunch of people.)

      If I’m correct they end up with some idealistic people, whom they compromise. And they end up with some already compromised people, who, for the price of admission to the halls of power, are willing to pretend idealism.

  20. posaune says:

    Here are the property tax records for 133 C St SE (what a block!)

    Owner: The C Street Center
    Youth with a Mission Washington, DC Inc. (what do these people have on the Catholics?)

    Square/Lot 733/825
    Use Code: Special Purpose
    Tax Type: Religious
    Tax Class: Commercial
    Land Area: 3, 466 sf
    Current Value Land: $682,800
    Improvements $1,162,010
    Total Assessment $1,844,810
    and they have a garage.
    Tax Record indicates property devaluation of $10K for 2010.

    Interesting that:
    American Association of Christian Schools, 119 C St SE (assessment $1.5 million)
    The next house to the east (across the alley) 131 C St SE is The City Church, Inc. (assessment $1 million)
    The National Prayer Center, Inc. is at 137 C St SE (assessment $1.475 million)
    Then at 310 1st St SE (under Ed Gillespie’s name) is the RNC.
    300 1st St SE (under Linda Mintz) is the Republican Club.

  21. orionATL says:

    let’s see now:

    – we have the five catholic brethren on the supreme court (memorialized in an acidic cartoon showing all five wearing bishops’ mitres)

    – we have the Federalist Society (think john yoo and john roberts) working to destroy everything the authors of the Federalist papers believed in

    – we have aipac, an israeli/american “co-operative society”, assiduously “operating” against efforts to better inform american citizens about the arab/israeli conflict.

    – and now we learn there is a “society of friends”, a smaller group of religious crackpots though not necessarily less damaging and certainly no less freakish, who are – for god’s sake- u.s senators and congressmen.

    – and then there are our home-grown AMERICAN TERRORISTS who murder doctors and attack what is a profoundly important abode of collective memory for all us sort-of-sapiens.

    jesus h. christ!

    none of this would count for much if we did not have a corporate press that ignores the relevant and the critical,

    but we do.

    and so

    sowing disunity or sowing sophistry with respect to either domestic or foreign policy, performing acts of domestic terrorism which go unnamed as such (”we need more hate crimes acts says abu holder) is as easy as it has ever been in the 200+ years of the republic.

    something has got to change.

    but what?

    my view is that, given the obama administration’s own torrid affair with bush legal sophistry,

    an authoritarian regime is just one presidential election away –

    a fact i would guess is well understood by the republican operatives listed at the beginning of this comment, not to mention newt and rush, et al.

    as bob somerby repeatedly asks: can a political culture survive the ongoing tsunami of misinformation and sophistry.

  22. Citizen92 says:

    Skimming from earlier comments from early 2008, I also noticed a connection between vote fraudster Mark “Thor” Hearne, Porter Goss, Goss’s substantial $15M Florida estate, a religious organization called the Pillar Foundation and Phyllis Schalafly’s Eagle Forum.

    Did insiders, clandesine money and shadowy religious organizations steal the ‘04 election?


  23. Fern says:

    According to her own statement on a website she is involved with, Mrs. Hampton was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, was “shunned” by her family, and has an abuse history. She’d be perfect for a setup like you all are describing.


    • Jukesgrrl says:

      Fern, do you know for sure that this is THE Cynthia Hampton, the one no news organization in the US has been able to get a photo of?! The time lines in this testimony line up with what’s known (age of her youngest child is age of son who received $ from Ensign, etc.), but the article says nothing about her living in Nevada. The content of your find is explosive. If it’s correct, this woman went from one highly conservative, cult-like group to another. Seems like the perfect type to fall prey to a handsome US senator-with-all-the-answers, but she doesn’t strike me as the type to be the treasurer of a senatorial campaign AND a PAC — unless that was the whole idea. (And as it’s been pointed out herein previously, Mr. Hampton didn’t seem to have the skills for his job, either!).

      And kudos also to Citizen92 — you seem to be following the same lines of inquiry I’m interested in.

  24. FromCt says:

    It is more alarming than the background you provided in your presentation, EW:

    | Church & State (June, 2003)
    Publication Date: 01-JUN-03
    Secretive religious group offers Congressmen cheap rent in D.C.
    (People & Events).

    Finding a nice place to live in the desirable neighborhoods of Washington, D.C., can be tricky, but six members of Congress have stumbled upon a bargain: They reside in a $1.1-million townhouse on Capitol Hill and pay only $600 per month apiece–all thanks to a secretive religious group.

    The six members live just blocks from the U.S. Capitol in a three-story house that is owned by an evangelical group called “The Fellowship.” The group seeks to help political leaders find ways to integrate their faith into their public lives. Six federal lawmakers currently reside in the house: Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Sen. John Ensign (R-Ney.) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

    The Fellowship was profiled recently in Harper’s magazine and by the Associated Press. In the AP interview, Richard Carver, who serves on The Fellowship’s board of directors, implied that the group, which runs the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, wants to affect public policy by influencing politicians.

    “Our goal is singular, and that is to hope that we can assist them in better understandings of the teachings of Christ and applying it to their jobs,” Carver said.

    The members of Congress dine together and meet regularly for Bible study. Carver denied, however, that The Fellowship seeks any type of special access with the lawmakers.

    “We have no issue in legislation before the Congress, and nor would we,” he said. “And the idea that we would have any quid pro quo is really impossible because there’s no quid that we’re asking for.”

    “What concerns people is when you mix religion, political power and secrecy,” said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn told the AP. ….

    Washington Wrap, The Latest Political News – CBS News

    WASHINGTON, April, 21, 2003

    ….The rent is low, only $600 a month, but the tenants must dine together once a week in order to discuss religion in their daily lives. The Fellowship encourages bringing together elected officials as well as world leaders through religion.

    “We do have a Bible study. Somebody’ll share a verse or a thought, but mostly it’s more of an accountability group to talk about things that are going on in our lives, and how we’re dealing with them,” DeMint explained. …..

    Harper’s Magazine: Jesus Plus Nothing,
    p. 2 of 11
    Jesus Plus Nothing

    Undercover among America’s secret theocrats

    Ivanwald, which sits at the end of Twenty-fourth Street North in Arlington, Virginia, is known only to its residents and to the members and friends of the organization that sponsors it, a group of believers who refer to themselves as “the Family.” The Family is, in its own words, an “invisible” association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men. Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities…..

    ….During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa’s postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand “Communists” killed marks him as one of the century’s most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise. “We work with power where we can,” the Family’s leader, Doug Coe, says, “build new power where we can’t.”

    At the 1990 National Prayer Breakfast, George H.W. Bush praised Doug Coe for what he described as “quiet diplomacy, I wouldn’t say secret diplomacy,” as an “ambassador of faith.” Coe has visited nearly every world capital, often with congressmen at his side, “making friends” and inviting them back to the Family’s unofficial headquarters, a mansion (just down the road from Ivanwald) that the Family bought in 1978 with $1.5 million donated by, among others, Tom Phillips, then the C.E.O. of arms manufacturer Raytheon, and Ken Olsen, the founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation. A waterfall has been carved into the mansion’s broad lawn, from which a bronze bald eagle watches over the Potomac River. The mansion is white and pillared and surrounded by magnolias, and by red trees that do not so much tower above it as whisper. The mansion is named for these trees; it is called The Cedars, and Family members speak of it as a person. “The Cedars has a heart for the poor,” they like to say. By “poor” they mean not the thousands of literal poor living barely a mile away but rather the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom: the senators, generals, and prime ministers who coast to the end of Twenty-fourth Street in Arlington in black limousines and town cars and hulking S.U.V.’s to meet one another, to meet Jesus, to pay homage to the god of The Cedars.

    There they forge “relationships” beyond the din of vox populi (the Family’s leaders consider democracy a manifestation of ungodly pride) and “throw away religion” in favor of the truths of the Family. Declaring God’s covenant with the Jews broken, the group’s core members call themselves “the new chosen.”

    The brothers of Ivanwald are the Family’s next generation, its high priests in training. I had been recommended for membership by a banker acquaintance, a recent Ivanwald alumnus, who had mistaken my interest in Jesus for belief. Sometimes the brothers would ask me why I was there. They knew that I was “half Jewish,” that I was a writer, and that I was from New York City, which most of them considered to be only slightly less wicked than Baghdad or Amsterdam. I told my brothers that I was there to meet Jesus, and I was: the new ruling Jesus, whose ways are secret.

    * The Los Angeles Times reported in September that the Fellowship Foundation alone has an annual budget of $10 million, but that represents only a fraction of the Family’s finances. Each of the Family’s organizations raises funds independently. Ivanwald, for example, is financed at least in part by an entity called the Wilberforce Foundation. Other projects are financed by individual “friends”: wealthy businessmen, foreign governments, church congregations, or mainstream foundations that may be unaware of the scope of the Family’s activities. At Ivanwald, when I asked to what organization a donation check might be made, I was told there was none; money was raised on a “man-to-man” basis. Major Family donors named by the Times include Michael Timmis, a Detroit lawyer and Republican fund-raiser; Paul Temple, a private investor from Maryland; and Jerome A. Lewis, former CEO of the Petro-Lewis Corporation.

    S.C. GOP Nominee Regrets Remarks (washingtonpost.com)

    Gays, Single Moms as Teachers Faulted

    By Charles Babington
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, October 18, 2004; Page A06

    The Republican nominee in South Carolina’s hard-fought U.S. Senate race apologized yesterday for saying gays and unmarried mothers should not teach in public schools, but he stopped short of retracting the statements.

    Jim DeMint said he regretted the comments, made in a recent debate, because they distracted voters from “real issues” such as jobs and national security. Repeatedly asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether gays and single mothers should qualify as teachers, DeMint said local school boards should decide. …..

    • TarheelDem says:

      Interesting. I wonder if there is a conservative Catholic counterpart involving Congress.

      • posaune says:

        yeah, but the Catholics go for the judiciary (i.e., the supremes & FBI). St. Catherine of Siena parish, and Opus Dei operate The Catholic Information Center in Great Falls,VA. Opus Dei is particularly well connected to power and fundraising, going back to the Reagan Administration.

        See [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3944/is_200605/ai_n16410175/]

        Quite a roster there at St. Catherine’s, including Louis Freeh, Scalia, Roberts, and of course, spy Robert Hanssen.

  25. Mauimom says:

    Hampton mentions not just Coburn, but “a group of his peers … several other men who are close to the Senator.” Which might be his baseball team, or . . .

    Maybe he was one of the “Singing Senators” [with Ashcroft]?

  26. peakoil says:

    One thing I marvel at is a good, long thread that stays intelligent and respectful – glad to see that’s possible. What scares me reading all this as well as half of Sharlet’s book, is the insidious nature of this type of “christianity” among the DC elite and especially Rick Warren’s featured role in Obama’s inauguration which indicates, to me anyway, that this is far from a righwing only phenom.. How many “godless” elected elites get the call to be in the MSM or on the Sunday talk shows ? How many Rs can publicly state a non-religious philosophical basis ? More importantly, how many presidents ? When an elite sins as a Christian, or a republican, there is little damage done; but when the sinning is “godless” or (heaven forbid) “leftist”, the judgement is harsh. Thanks for your investigative work in this Marcy – seems you’re on to something big and very corrupt.

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