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Invisible Children, an American-run organisation that aims to bring justice to a Ugandan rebel leader that kidnaps children, has been revealed to be backed by anti-gay fundamentalist groups.
Reports are surfacing that a number of extreme-right Christian groups have given huge donations to Invisible Children. Invisible Children’s “KONY 2012″ campaign went viral last week with a very emotive video that outlines plans to “stop” rebel leader Joseph Kony from kidnapping and recruiting children for his rebel group – the Lord’s Resistance Army – in Africa.
KONY 2012 states its desire to better arm the Ugandan Army so that it may track Joseph Kony through the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he is reported to be.
The Ugandan Army has also come under fire, with claims surfacing that the army is guilty of murder, rape and looting. The Ugandan government is still pressing ahead with the Anti Homosexuality Bill, dubbed the “Kill The Gays” bill.
Alternet has investigated the backers of Invisible Children to find out who is giving the organisation money. By looking through IRS tax forms, Alternet can reveal:
- Invisible Children has received large sums of cash from the Caster Family Foundation, an organisation that was one of the biggest financial backers for Proposition 8, California’s anti-same sex marriage bill that passed in 2008.
- A group called The Call, whose leader Lou Engle warned that same sex marriage could unleash a “sexual insanity” that would be “more demonic than Islam”, gave US$400,000 dollars to Invisible Children in 2008.
- The National Christian Foundation, which funds anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Fellowship Foundation, has given Invisible Children US$350,000 over a period of years.
- The NCF also funds the ministry of California evangelist Ed Silvoso, who works directly with leading Ugandan author and promoter of the “Kill The Gays” bill Julius Oyet.
Alternet writer B.E Wilson says, “Why does it matter, if Invisible Children was funded by controversial donors? Two reasons.
“One, we can assume those donors thought Invisible Children aligned with their agenda – which is antagonistic to LGBT rights.
“Two, it fits an emerging pattern in which Invisible Children appears selectively concerned about crimes committed by Joseph Kony but indifferent to crimes, perhaps on a bigger scale, committed by their provisional partner, the government of Uganda – whose president shot his way into power using child soldiers, before Joseph Kony began using child soldiers.
“Like Kony, the government of Uganda was also indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, for human rights abuses and looting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Like Kony, the Ugandan army preys upon civilians and is currently accused, by Western human rights groups, with raping and looting in the DRC, where it is hunting for Kony. In the late 1990s, Uganda helped spark a conflict in DRC Congo that, by the middle of the next decade it is estimated, had killed up to 5.4 million civilians, more than any conflict since World War Two.”
Pictured: Invisible Children’s founders — Bobby Bailey, Laren Poole, and Jason Russell — pose with guns alongside members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Like Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, the SPLA previously had up to 5000 child soliders in its army until an agreement was made in 2010 that would see children removed from the army.