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IRS Complaint Filed Against NOM And Witherspoon In Regnerus Anti-Gay Study Scandal

by Scott Rose on August 7, 2012

in Actions,Analysis,Elections,Scott Rose

We have been reporting on an invalid sociological study on gay parenting carried out by researcher Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin.

Regnerus’s known total of $785,000 for the study was arranged by The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation, where Robert P. George – head of the anti-gay-rights, scientifically disreputable National Organization for Marriage (NOM) — holds positions of authority. Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member.

Bradley and Witherspoon are organized as 501(c)3 tax exempt entities.

One arm of NOM, by contrast, is a 501(c)4 organization. NOM apparently would not have been legally able to fund the Regnerus study and to use it subsequently as a political weapon in the 2012 elections. Likewise, Bradley and Witherspoon as 501(c)3s charities are limited in the  extent of political involvement legally allowed them.

There thus is some appearance that the Regnerus study money could have been political money, laundered for NOM through Bradley and Witherspoon — (with the money perhaps laundered coming from as-yet-unidentified donors) — even though the Regnerus study was schemed up above all for NOM and Republican Party uses as a political weapon in the 2012 elections.

The appearance is that as a NOM proxy — and as a loophole in the differences between what is legally allowed to 501(c)3s and to 501(c)4s — Bradley/Witherspoon funded the Regnerus study for NOM — with laundered money — for a known minimum of $785,000.

Accordingly, a 501(c)3 tax exempt laws violations COMPLAINT has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), against Bradley, Witherspoon and NOM.

The IRS handles such complaints, firstly, by sending the complainant a letter acknowledging receipt of the COMPLAINT.

The body of the COMPLAINT text appears below. The actual communication sent to the IRS included such information as NOM’s and Witherspoon’s addresses. The COMPLAINT noted that NOM and Witherspoon formerly shared the address of 20 Nassau Street, Suite 242, Princeton, New Jersey 08542.  The COMPLAINT text below is identical to the actual COMPLAINT text sent to the IRS, though hyperlinks have been inserted for online readers’ ease of reference.

NATURE OF VIOLATION(S)

1)       Organization is involved in a political campaign
2)      Organization is engaged in excessive lobbying activities
3)      Organization engaged in deceptive or improper fundraising practices
4)      Income/assets are being used to support illegal or terrorist activities

The central allegation is that The Bradley Foundation (“Bradley”)  and The Witherspoon Institute (“Witherspoon”), both 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations, laundered money for political projects for — and/or of — The National Organization for Marriage, which is a 501(c)4 political advocacy organization subject to tax laws different from those pertaining for 501(c)3 organizations.

The central alleged tax law violation involves The Bradley Foundation’s and the Witherspoon Institute’s financing of the “New Family Structures Study” (“the Study”), a sociological study carried out by the University of Texas at Austin’s Mark Regnerus, who made use of  publicly-funded UT facilities in carrying out his study.

The Study could apparently not legally have been funded by NOM, and then later used by NOM as a political weapon in the 2012 elections. Furthermore, Bradley and Witherspoon apparently could not legally have funded such a study and then subsequently have promoted it as heavily as NOM is doing, in political contexts in the 2012 elections.

There is an appearance that NOM officials who also have official positions with Bradley and Witherspoon knowingly subverted the letter and spirit of tax laws applying to 501(c)3 organizations compared to 501(c)4 organizations, in order to further political goals shared by those same NOM, Bradley and Witherspoon officials and their corresponding, common organizations. The appearance is that as a NOM proxy — and as a loophole in the differences between what is legally allowed to 501(c)3s and to 501(c)4s — Bradley/Witherspoon funded the Regnerus study for NOM — with laundered money — for a known minimum of $785,000.

The Study, as happens, has been very heavily, politically weaponized and promoted by both the Study funder Witherspoon and NOM jointly, and in political contexts. Witherspoon created a stand-alone website for the Study. Most all propagandistic and weaponized political articles involving the Study and published on one of Witherspoon’s various websites are rapidly cross-posted to NOM’s blog. NOM and Witherspoon officials have been using various media venues to promote the weaponized Study. The National Review is one example of a venue being used that way by NOM and/or Witherspoon officials as well as by Regnerus himself. An article about Regnerus in The Weekly Standard described Witherspoon as having orchestrated a “careful rollout” of the study. Whereas the study was not made available to the public pre-publication — (though it had for months already been approved for publication) – articles and editorials supporting it notably appeared early in print in The Deseret News, where Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM’s Robert George is on the editorial advisory board.

The Bradley Foundation is known to have provided general financial support to The Witherspoon Institute in the past. Robert George, a NOM founder and its current mastermind, is a Bradley Foundation board member. Robert George also is a senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute. Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member.

The Bradley Foundation gave a known minimum grant of $90,000 for the Regnerus study. The Witherspoon Institute gave a known minimum $55,000 “planning grant” for the Regnerus study. It is presumed that Witherspoon had an option not to fund the full Study upon consideration of Regnerus’s presented study plan. Total known minimum funding for the Regnerus study is $785,000.

NOM is very heavily invested, and involved in the 2012 elections nationwide. NOM and/or its various state affiliates are involved in 1) the 2012 presidential campaign; 2) congressional and senatorial campaigns on both the national and state levels; 3) campaigns involving candidates for other elected offices and; 4) campaigns involving state ballot initiatives.

Most of NOM’s political campaigns rely to no small extent on demonizing homosexuals based on known falsifications of scientific records. NOM, for example, demonizes homosexuals by quoting works by Paul Cameron, who in the 1980s was expelled from multiple professional organizations because of his documented falsifications of scientific records.

The Regnerus study is widely considered a falsified scientific record. Though the Study has the form of a test-group, control-group comparison study, it makes no apparently valid comparison between its test-group/control-group, yet is said by Regnerus and its funders to have “proved” that gay parents have worse child outcomes than do heterosexual parents.

The study was published by Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research, through an apparently corrupt peer review process, in which none of the peer reviewers were topic experts. Some of the peer reviewers had conflicts of interest, including that some were paid Regnerus study consultants, while others had long-standing personal associations with Regnerus.

A group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent a letter to Social Science Research, complaining of the Study’s lack of intellectual integrity and expressing concerns about the suspicious circumstances of the Study’s publication. The signers of that letter noted: “there are substantial concerns about the merits of this paper, and these concerns should have been identified through a thorough and rigorous peer review process.”

Additionally, a group of eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association filed an amicus brief in the Golinski-DOMA case, analyzing the Regnerus study as scientifically invalid.

Moreover, Witherspoon officials with conflicts of interest in commenting publicly about the Regnerus study have been making attempted defenses of the Study without disclosing their conflicts of interest. For example, Witherspoon senior fellow Byron Johnson is Director of the Baylor Institute for Religious Studies. Johnson organized a group of 18 to sign an attempted public defense of the Regnerus study. The attempted defense, however, does not even attempt to rebut the coherent and decisive scientific criticisms of the Study. And, Johnson does not disclose that he is senior fellow of Witherspoon, which funded the Regnerus study and is busy heavily promoting it politically, jointly with NOM.  Johnson furthermore did not disclose that Regnerus himself has a Baylor affiliation.

NOM’s main — (but hardly sole) — purposes are to bar LGBT Americans from being treated as legal equals, and not only in marriage law, despite NOM’s name. NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, for example, has published articles saying that she is “unwilling” to live in a country that grants anti-discrimination protections of any sort to homosexuals. NOM issued a “pledge” signed by all major Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney. Romney made a secret $10,000 donation to NOM through an Alabama PAC; that secret donation now is the subject of an ethics investigation being undertaken by the State of California.

In March, 2012, NOM earned public condemnation and revulsion when some of its internal strategy documents were released through court order. Those documents described plots to get children raised by gay parents to denounce their parents on camera, as well as plots to “drive a wedge” and to “fan hostility” between various minority groups, including between African-Americans and gays. NOM also is known to fan hostility against Muslims and Jews; the Bradley Foundation has a reputation for funding extremist anti-Muslim bigots. NOM sponsors hate rallies where NOM-approved speakers yell at crowds through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death.” NOM’s William Duncan leads hateful seminars with titles such as “Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens: Who Deserves Protected Class Status?”

Witherspoon and NOM have been using the Regnerus study in association with their fund raising, and political fund raising campaigns. They appear to be using at least some of the money thus raised for terroristic activities.

NOM, for example, launched a boycott of Starbucks because of that company’s support for gay rights. NOM had its Starbucks boycott materials with anti-gay hate speech translated into foreign languages including Arabic, and languages of other countries where gay people face overt hostility and even death, merely for being found out as homosexual. With depraved indifference to the plight of homosexual people in such countries, NOM published its anti-gay hate speech and Starbucks boycott materials, along with detailed Starbucks location maps for such countries as Saudi Arabia. Additionally, in its Starbucks boycott materials, NOM overtly highlights that the Starbucks CEO has a conspicuously and readily identifiably Jewish surname; Howard Schultz. There is some appearance that NOM is attempting to associate Jews, gay rights and Starbucks in the minds of people in Saudi Arabia, to build resentment. The resulting heightened danger to both gay people in Saudi Arabia, and Starbucks physical plants as well as employees there should be obvious. In this connection, it should be noted that the Regnerus study has been translated into many foreign languages and published online. The scientifically invalid Regnerus study’s bottom line – that homosexuals are dangerous to children – echoes other falsified scientific records that Witherspoon/NOM previously have used to demonize homosexuals in political contexts. Note that the SPLC’s 2012 Intelligence Report on NOM is titled National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays.

Moreover, Witherspoon and NOM officials have known connections to American evangelicals and others who travel abroad, including to Africa, to hate-monger against homosexuals. One place where such NOM-linked anti-homosexual hate mongering is connected to terrorism is Uganda, whose government proposed a “Kill the gays” law in reaction to the American evangelical-led anti-gay hate mongering. Ugandan tabloids began publishing names and addresses of known homosexuals and calling for their executions. Executions of homosexuals were carried out. Alarmed by that situation, California Congressman Brad Sherman proposed a congressional resolution against Uganda’s violation of its homosexual citizens’ human rights.

Bradley/Witherspoon/NOM’s Robert George was involved with an attempt to block Congressman Sherman’s proposed humane congressional resolution. Here is how:

George is a board member of the Family Research Council, a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified anti-gay hate group. The SPLC classifies a group as a hate group when it repeatedly disseminates known falsehoods against a minority.

Bradley/Witherspoon/NOM’s Robert George’s Family Research Council spent a known minimum of $35,000 lobbying against the proposed congressional resolution against Uganda’s inhumane treatment of its homosexual citizens, on grounds that the congressional resolution constituted “pro-homosexual promotions.” Thus it is clear that these hate groups would rather see innocent gay people killed than to speak up in the gay victims’ defense. That demonstrated, depraved attitude should be kept in mind by those evaluating NOM’s intent in translating its Starbucks boycott materials into such languages as Arabic and publishing them together with detailed online maps of every Starbucks location in Saudi Arabia.

In various states, NOM is in the courts fighting charges of campaign finance law violations. In California, where NOM has connections to —  among other political entities — “ProtectMarriage.com” and “Yes on 8” — campaign finance law violation complaints were filed by Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger, with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. The aforementioned NOM-linked entities admitted to 18 counts of violating campaign finance laws, and want to settle by paying $49,000 in fines. The Fair Political Practices Commission has not yet decided whether to accept a settlement.

The central allegation of this 501(c)3 tax exempt organization tax laws violation is now reiterated:

1)       The Bradley Foundation and the Witherspoon Institute are both 501(c)3s;
2)      The National Organization for Marriage is a 501(c)4;
3)      Robert George is; i) a Bradley board member; ii) a Witherspoon senior fellow; and iii) founder and mastermind of NOM;
4)      NOM had demonstrated 2012 election year political uses for a study that demonizes homosexuals;
5)      NOM as a 501(c)4 would not legally have been able to fund a study demonizing homosexuals and thereafter to use it as a political weapon in the 2012 elections;
6)      Bradley and NOM as 501(c)3s would not legally be able to fund a study demonizing homosexuals and thereafter to use it as a political weapon in the 2012 elections;
6)      As a NOM proxy — and as a loophole in the differences between what is legally allowed to 501(c)3s and to 501(c)4s — Bradley/Witherspoon funded the Regnerus study with laundered money for a known minimum of $785,000;
7)      Witherspoon/NOM and Regnerus himself are busily promoting the weaponized Study in political terms, and in political and election year contexts

Various journalists have made Freedom of Information Act requests for documentation pertaining to the funding of the Regnerus study. All involved entities have refused to comply with those FOIA requests.

 

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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