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Austin Cline

Christian Theocrats Involved With ABC Mock-u-Mentary About 9/11?

By September 9, 2006

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Quite a lot has been written about all of the factual errors in the ABC movie "The Path to 9/11." The mere existence of historical errors or inconsistencies isn't normally a problem, but there are two important factors at work here: they all serve to make Clinton look worse and Bush look better than they really were and it was originally marketed as being strictly true to life.

Those are good reasons for people to raise alarms, and to their credit more than a few conservatives have criticized the movie for these reasons as well. There's yet another issue here which everyone should pay very close attention to: it may be that Christian theocrats played key roles in creating this movie. If that's the case, then the "errors" in the movie take on a different and far more sinister light.

The point is, that the driving force behind this movie is the evangelical, slightly nutty right wing.. Any casual glimpse into the websites of YWAM or the University of Nations would be struck by their cult-like nature. And yet these very important pieces of information are missing from most of the discussion about this film and ABC’s decision to heavily market it. In fact, there seems to be an almost deliberate effort to conceal this information by both the filmmakers and ABC.

Why? Because the evangelical right wants to influence us “non-believers” without us knowing who is doing the influencing. They know that the majority of Americans might feel a little uneasy knowing they are watching a film about 9/11 produced by an organization that wants to “master the art of visual story-telling from a Christian perspective, while still entertaining a secular audience”. ...

This is about more than just ABC trying to influence an election. It’s about evangelical cults taking over the very foundations of the major media. I’m afraid this is just the beginning. The evangelicals are carefully honing their true believers into assuming important and influential positions not just in government, but in every aspect of our culture and industry.

MarinNC at Daily Kos

OK, so the film was created by a far-right Christian group that wants to influence Americans. There’s nothing sinister about that, and neither is the fact that they are trying to move into America’s culture industries. It’s a cause for concern and attention, but conservative Christians should have figured out long ago that they can only accomplish so much by trying to influence law and politics — especially since they end up following the direction taken by the broader culture in the long run. Trying to use the law to influence people’s sexual behavior, for example, is the tactic of reaction — and a generally losing tactic at that.

“The Path to 9/11” is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production.

On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11’s director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to “transform Hollywood” in line with its messianic vision.

Max Blumenthal

So what’s the problem? “Path to 9-11” director David Cunningham is the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the worldwide, evangelical missionary group Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

Rick Ross claims that, according to Gary North, Cunningham has been studying Christian Reconstructionism since 1988. (North is R.J. Rushdoony’s son-in-law - a writer, publisher and regular contributor to Lew Rockwell’s poisonous website). ...

What’s all this got to do with David Cunningham?

Well, his familial association raises a few questions, like - why was he chosen to direct it? ... But even more, it raises these question: Who funded this movie? What is their agenda? Who is really responsible for this rightwing bilge?

Democratic Undergound

Here is the original Rick Ross claim:

As of 1988, Loren Cunningham (according to Gary North) “began studying Reconstructionist writings…with the intent of incorporating ‘dominion’ or ‘kingdom’ [a belief that the Christian Biblical principles] theology into the ideological training given to YWAM missionaries. (page 206).”

Now we are getting into some troubling territory. Any projected connected to Christian Reconstructionists should raise a host or red flags. Christian Reconstructionists are the people who want to “reconstruct” America along Old Testament law and morality — they are the most extreme of the Christian extremists. Few on the Christian Right openly endorse the views and goals of Christian Reconstructionism, but at the same time Reconstructionist ideas, principles, and premises have been filtering into the “mainstream” Christian Right for years. They are ultimately responsible for the development of Christian Nationalism and they are pushing the movement into a full-blown Christian Fascism.

Should we be worried? Is all this just a series of unfortunate coincidences and strained connections? Perhaps, but if that’s so why is the evidence for all these links disappearing? Why has ABC been aggressively courting Christian Nationalists to support the film and deliberately shutting out everyone else:

ABC hosted [Liberty Film Festival] co-founder Murty and several other conservative operatives at an advance screening of The Path to 9/11. (While ABC provided 900 DVDs of the film to conservatives, Clinton administration officials and objective reviewers from mainstream outlets were denied them.) Murty returned with a glowing review for FrontPageMag that emphasized the film’s partisan nature. ...

Murty followed her review with a blast email to conservative websites such as Liberty Post and Free Republic on September 1 urging their readers to throw their weight behind ABC’s mini-series. “Please do everything you can to spread the word about this excellent miniseries,” Murty wrote, “so that ‘The Path to 9/11’ gets the highest ratings possible when it airs on September 10 & 11! If this show gets huge ratings, then ABC will be more likely to produce pro-American movies and TV shows in the future!”

Max Blumenthal

Remember, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney company. Back in 2004, Disney forced a delay in the release of Michael Moore’s film Farenheit 9/11 in order to avoid influencing the election that year. Whether that was an appropriate or inappropriate decision, it stands in stark contrast to ABC’s decision to air “The Path to 9/11” now, in advance of the 2006 mid-term elections, and thus possibly influence these elections in favor of Republicans.

Many people are upset that ABC has created a film which is deceptive in ways that are obviously designed to make Clinton, Democrats, and liberals look bad while Bush, Republicans, and conservative look heroic. They are right to be upset about such things, especially when the film is marketed as historically accurate. People should also be concerned, however, that ABC is so willing to allow itself to be used as a tool by Christian Nationalists who look disturbingly like theocrats pushing a theocratic agenda to assert dominion over America’s cultural industries — or, even worse, that ABC is willingly complicit in such actions.


Christian Right & Christian Nationalism:


Christian Nationalism & Dominion Theology:

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