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Part One: Focus on the Family: James Dobson

Part One: Focus on the Family: James Dobson

Tue, 29 Sep 2020 10:00

Part One: Focus on the Family: James Dobson

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to behind the ******** the only podcast about bad people that there's ever been. Under only one NATO law, I'm Robert Evans, host of this podcast you are normally I tell the the very detailed story about a terrible person or a terrible group of people or a terrible thing that was done by terrible people. But this week we're we're doing things a little bit, a little bit different. Garrison, my, my, my, my friend. Local youth about town Portland. Photojournalist Garrison. You want to explain what's going on today? Yeah, the last name. Just, just just. Oh yeah. Hi, this, this. This is Garrison Davis. Local youth in Portland and reporter, my young ward. Yeah, Roberts, young ward. And because of Roberts injury I have now successfully cooed this podcast. Yeah, you did. And I am now going to be running the show for today until there is a coup to this coup. Counter coup, counter coup. They've been studying the school of the Americas. I think I can pull one off. Is it really a coup if you go, hey, can I host your podcast? And then Robert and I both go, yeah, I don't know. Either way, Sophie, I've got some death squads in El Salvador, but that may wind up just being just a separate thing. I do. Anyway, Garrison is going to be presenting the episode this week, an episode that he wrote, and I will be the guest on my own show, and I will supervise all of it while drinking. She's going to. Yeah yeah, while I drink a pear seco out of a glass straw. And we've we've scheduled this for Garrison's 18th birthday so that I'm no longer violating child labor law by having you on the podcast. Yay. Hello? Yes, yeah, it's my birthday today. Wow. So Garrison, may you want to tell the people? America, England, Australia, numerous other countries. Canada. Maybe you want to tell them what the episode for today is? We are going to be talking about an organization called focus on the family. Who with? If if you've if you've heard of that, you've probably heard of it from John Oliver's show or you grew up with this organization kind of in your life as like like if you grew up as a Christian. We're. Yeah. We're learning all about some weird stuff they did. Some surprising stuff they did. Yeah. And I was. It was actually a surprise for even though I'm familiar with this organization, like, personally, I learned some new things when I was doing research for this, so even I was surprised with what I found. Yeah. And for our our listeners who haven't been stalking you on the Internet, you grew up in a what? You've called to me repeatedly. A cult. Yeah. I me and my family were in a cult in Canada for about 11 years. We moved to Portland to get out of the cult and have been here. And I, I, I I've been here ever since some of my families back in Canada. But not but not in a cult now. Yeah, when you're in a Canadian cult, is it the Mounties that burn your compound with by incinerating tear gas? Or is there another agents? I've seen the 90s do stuff like that also the the the Canadian Revenue Service. Ohh was the big enemy of our cult. OK, that makes sense. That was the one that they had fights with. I'm going to guess a lot of people didn't think they ought to pay taxes to the government illegally. Trying to get like tax cuts for their like fake school that they were running that I went to for the first like six months of my first six years of my school. Yeah. But anyway, alright, we'll talk. This stuff will come back later. So let's talk about focus on the family, focus on the fact you start. Yeah. To really, oh, thank you, Sophie. To really understand what focus on the family is both in the past and what it kind of is now, we're first going to have to kind of learn about its founder, James Dobson, or technically jobs. It should be doctor. James Dobson but we'll talk more about why I don't want to say that later, since focus on the family is really just an extension of who Dobson is as a person. Dobson was born in 1936 and he is still alive. He was he was born in 1936. He shouldn't be. He's still alive. He was born in Louisiana. His father was a traveling evangelist. Religion was a prevailing part of Dobson's life since he was essentially a baby, quoting a book about focus on the family and Christian right wing radio and the influence they had on American culture in the 20. Across the whole 20th century, it's a book called Stations of the Cross. Actually. A pretty, pretty good book. But this is this is a quote Dobson claims to have been able to pray before he could talk, and to have felt God's calling from as early as age 3 when he toddled up to the altar in response to his father's Sunday morning altar. Call that the unsaved offer their life to Jesus. And this this isn't that all uncommon for like, people as young as three to like have their parents pressure them into doing yeah, I I this even now this is still this is. This isn't that if you if you wanna, if listeners want another look at what it's like to be pushed into stuff like this when you're 3, check out the documentary Marjoe, which is about the youngest pastor in American history who was performing marriage ceremonies when he was like 4 years old. Margie gordiant? Yeah, his name was Mary and Joseph. That's what they say in the the photo and video that's been going around the interwebs this week of the baby that was jet skiing. That's six months old. Well, that's just rad as hell. That sounds good, actually. I don't see a problem with that. No. I actually think babies should be jet skiing and even younger ages. They they should be jet skiing before, before they should be able to pray. That is my opinion. Yeah. I would agree with you. Yeah. All right. And and there's, there's an article from 1990 but in the Washington Post by a journalist named Laura Strep. And the detail, a lot of stuff about focus in the family in the 70s and 80s, and it details some of Dobson's early life and family. This is a quote from that article. His father and mother, James and Myrtle Dobson, were married for 43 years. His father never went to college and became a a traveling evangelist. In the Church of Nazarene, which is like a a fundamentalist Protestant type of church, as an only child he received all the attention and love his parents had to give. His mother deferred to her husband on all major matters, but she often found herself alone from her. Dobson says he got his idea that firm discipline is the cornerstone of the parent child relationship, and this, this is very, this is very important. Here is a quote from Dobson's first book. When he when he talks about his mother, she knew that backtalk and lip are the child's most potent weapons of defiance. And must be discouraged. On one occasion she must weapon backtalk, backtalk, violent weapon and speaking. On one occasion she cracked me with a shoe, at other times she used a handy belt. This is in response to back the weapon of Backtalk. Yeah, well, you gotta use the weapon of a shoe against the weapon of backtalk. That's just that's just fine. The day I learned the importance of staying out of reach shines like a neon light in my mind. I made the costly mistake of sassing her when I was about four feet away. Her hand landed on a girdle. It weighed about £16.00 and was lined with lead and steel. Jesus Christ. She drew back and swung that abominable garment in my direction. The intended blow caught me across the chest, followed by a multitude of straps and buckles wrapping themselves around my midsection. She gave me an entire thrashing with one massive blow from that day forward. I cautiously retreated a few steps back before popping off. Good lesson for kids to learn. Stay out of reach of adults because they want to harm, but remember, this is the stuff that that influenced his ministry. OK, this is the stuff that he thinks is the cornerstone. His earliest lesson is you always want to stay away from adults is out of reach of adults because you never know when they will want to physically damage. Yes and but this is a key tenant of his ministry is teaching stuff like this though. This is like the cornerstone of a you know a strong parent child relations this guy tie in to to train up a child in that book and stuff. Ohh awesome. We will wait until we talk about his first book and what and some fun some fun fun legal issues that happened. Ohh boy. It's a child abuse episode, everybody. This is a very this whole this whole two partners the child to be episode Sophie since Sophia a letter of apology that we we don't have her on to talk about children. Are there dead babies, Garrison? There's dead teenagers. Hell yeah. Alright, but I mean and well yeah, no. Well yeah, dead teenagers, Robert. Damn right. Well, we'll figure this out later. The The Washington Post article continues. As Dobson was about to start his junior year in high school, his father decided to take a job as a pastor and settle down in San Benito, TX, a very hot, flat outpost near the Mexican border. Because of his religious beliefs, Dobson couldn't dance or go to the movies like the rest of his friends, but he earned their respect by becoming a top tennis player. OK, what should be so in terms of culture, time? Anyone heard respect through tennis, but tennis? Is tennis, tennis in the cult? Is involved in the call. It's like being able, like in these kind of very firm Christian kind of churches and also, you know, some more of the worst cult stuff. Not being able to dance or go to the movies is is pretty standard. Like, I couldn't go to the movies for most of my most of my life so far I've not been. Well yeah, because that's like Hollywood's just straight the depth and like, sure, my parents at my parents wedding, they weren't allowed to dance. There was no dance allowed at all. There was no dancing. Well that, you know, let the devil right into the wedding. Yeah, you would have grown up with your brother the devil if that had happened. But wait, I don't understand. What does what does tennis have to do with this? Tennis is how he is how he gained his friend's respect because he couldn't go to the movies or dance. So the thing Dobson did to get like friends is play tennis very well. So it's, I guess it's not like how Keith Ranieri made all his people play volleyball at like 3 in the morning, right? I don't know what that means. I'm too young. So that was another guy. We did an episode on another cult where he forced them to play volleyball at like 3 in the morning. It sounds like it was just a kid game. No, this is a kid trying to find anything to gain friends because he can't, because he lives in a bad situation. All right? Yeah, those were the best years America ever had, said when a Dobson's high school friends retired Colonel Harlan Baker. Junior. That's his high school friends. OK, yeah. Journal. Bake Baker junior. Bake Baker. OK. We had the hamburgers, the milkshakes. We didn't drink or smoke. Our parents gave us room to spread our wings, but also set limits. Again, this is the kind of stuff he's going to talk about, as in his ministry. You know this we'll we'll we'll find. I'm seeing what's building you're this is kind of obvious. What's kind of being built here. After graduating high school, Dobson went to Pasadena College, a small liberal arts college. Well, a small liberal arts Christian. College in Southern California with an interest in human behavioral studies. The Washington Post, the whole yeah, yeah, you can see this is going to go in like the 50s and 60s in a good place, Washington Post article writes. But after he had taken a couple of psychology courses, Dobson was convinced that God was calling him to go all the way into the field. It was not an easy time for a Christian to go into psychology. Some psychologists thought Christians were deluded. No nothings. And some Christians thought psychologists were devil worshippers or worse. OK. I'm not sure what we're. I don't know that I believe either side of that. I don't. I don't really believe that there was ever a situation in which like a bunch of psychologists were like, oh hey, members of the largest industry, culturally dominant religion in the country. Y'all are silly. You can't be psychologists. Yeah, I don't think that ever happened. No, not in the 60s. But he's in the psychology because I know a lot of colds are like against like this. Recology is anti psychology, etcetera. He's into sychology and this is gonna be his most potent weapon in trying to take over the country. I think this is going in a good direction. I'm so excited. Continue. Yeah. Yeah. Soon. Thompson went on to the University of Southern California to get his PhD in child development. This is when Dobson became doctor. James Dobson, this was in 1967. His doctor status was very important to him as he became popular in the 80s and 90s with his employees only being able to refer to him as Doctor Dobson like this is this was very important to give him credit. Ability to speak in like wide settings with politically and and and like to Christian people. He was very happy about being being able to be called a doctor. Yeah. I mean I'm pretty proud of being a Reverend Dr according to the state of New Jersey. To Dobson. According to the post, Dobson took the precise number of credits needed to get his doctorate and not one more. He was anxious to get his family life going and do speak out on the values he believed were eroding at breakneck speed. Alright, well, OK, it's a little weird to critique him for not taking more credits than he needed to get his stock. That's a lot of credit, a lot of credits. But he was very anxious to get his work started and the values that he thinks are eroding. He he he writes about and one of one of his books of this was this was. When he was getting his doctorate he was in LA during the mid 60s. Great time to be in LA in the night. Yeah. And one of Dobson's books from the 90s called the Book of settled the strong willed child. By the way, just, you know, you can get a sense of what his books are titled. Guess strong willed means talking. Yes. This is what Dobson writes about the summer of 1965 in LA our cities began to burn during the hot summer of racial strife that signaled the start of the chaos to come the class of 1965. Entered college at a time where drug abuse was not only prevalent, but became almost universal for students and teachers alike, intellectual deterioration was inevitable. Accompanying this social upheaval was a sudden disintegration of moral and ethical principles such as which has never occurred in the history of all of mankind. All at once there was no definite values, no standards, no absolutes, no rules, no traditional beliefs on which to lean. Now, when Dobson's referring to this talk of chaos and a long, hot summer of racial strife, quote UN quote. Referring to the Watts uprising of 1965. Yeah, yeah, when he was in LA and that that was, if you're familiar with this, started when the police assaulted multiple people during an arrest for reckless driving, the LA Times writes. After rumors spread of the police had rough people up and kicked a pregnant woman, angry mobs formed, turning a 46 square mile swath of the city into a combat zone. And this this isn't like, exaggerating, so people get angry when you kick pregnant women. The police kick some women offered a lot of people. We'll have during a nasty arrest, it's estimated that 35,000 people took part in the mass rioting and looting. Over the course of those six days, 14,000 members of the California National Guard were deployed to put an end to the civil unrest. Again, this is for like 6 days. In all, 16,000 law enforcement officers were mobilized as a self-described attacking force. 3131 people were killed by law enforcement during these protests and riots. There were over 1000 reported injuries, 3500 arrests over the course of these six days. The police chief that handled this uprising was the same chief that if not coined, at least popularized the term thin blue line. Oh, same same guy. So and and and Dobson. Dobson was here for all of this. He. You watched this unfold and he was very upset. In referring to this, referring to the WhatsApp rising, he said what what's happening to this country and what, what will happen to my children as a result? So he was, he was there for this. He was not. He was not a fan because I mean, yeah, he's not a fan of all of these people getting angry that a cop kicked a pregnant woman and he's not that pro racial civil rights that much. Gonna be like a big part of what we're talking about. But he he was he was known to be a racist, which we know. He's a guy born as a, you know, someone's a real character when you can say like, he was super racist, but we're not even going to talk about that. The child abuse is going to take child abuse and conversion therapy, which is much worse. Yeah, really, the racism was the best part of it. It did the least amount of damage. Yeah. Yeah. Unfailing obedience to authority and old fashioned Christian morality became Dobson's signature talking points. When you spoke about raising children despite him having, like, an actual job at, you know, the universe. He he got a job at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for, quote, researching childhood disorders that led to mental retardation because, again, this is the 60s. And that's how we phrase things. Even though he had a job, Dobson just eventually began showing up at local PTA meetings to like, talk about child development. Like, not for his own kids, just going to local ones in the area up at PTA me, yeah, I've, I've done the same thing before. Sometimes they'll get a little bit drunk, like it's, you know, it's a good way to spend Wednesday. And then eventually he got invited to teach Sunday school classes and then got invited to speak on, like radio talk shows. He actually, he actually got on, just invited to speak on Barbara Walters TV talk show, just about random stuff because I mean, again, he's a doctor. Child development. But this was just like a thinly veiled thing to spread his religious kind of parenting advice. Cool. That sounds fine. His biographer Rolf Settersten. I believe that's how you say it. Whatever. We don't pronounce things right on this podcast. That's fine. Cool, great. He he he wrote about why Dobson had such immediate popularity with parents. This is this is what Ralph says about Dobson. And in one of Dobson's biographies he condemned the so-called new morality. He demanded more discipline in the schools. He taught parents how to restart their authority at home. And he unflinchingly called sin by its biblical name, sin. And that's All in all caps. It's all. The only difference is it's All in all caps. Yeah, that's that's that's really it. By 1970, Dobson was able to publish his first book by Christian publisher Tyndale House. The book was called Dare to discipline. And I'm sure we can all guess what that book was about, because what he says. Discipline in tennis, it means it means picking up a girdle, a bit of tennis racket with use and slashing your children like what happened to him. And probably tennis rackets. Yeah. I mean, the key to beating children, I've always said this is that you wanna use improvised weaponry because that shows that there wasn't intent. If you wind up in a court case like, later, you want to be able to claim that it was just an accident and the kid ran into your girdle, which you can't claim if you're like using a telescoping baton on a child. That. Yeah. Yeah. Five years later, he released another book, and this book is the best title. This is this is the title to his his second book, released five years later. Oh my God. What? What wives wish their husbands knew about women, which is really. But this is full of a lot of good information. Yeah, I really love that. Again, him as a man born in the 30s wrote a book called What Wives wish their husbands knew about women. And that's that's that's his, that's his second vibes. Wish their husbands knew. About women? OK, wrong answers only, Robert. Ohh boy, you know what? I don't wanna get cancelled, so I'm not even gonna try to make a joke about that. Moving on. And I might be in hot water after the Batoning children remarks, so let's just, let's just say along. Yeah, because we're like, you know, alright, we're like 20 minutes in. Oh, I think you know what won't baton your children. Oh yeah, unless you need them batoned. You know what? We'll only baton your children with Jesus, says Garrison. Garrison, you're the host. Not get your children hit by a girdle, giving them a thrashing in one single blow. And any guesses? Ohh ralphie. What is it Robert? No, is it, is it the problem? Have a girdle services that support products and services that is indeed products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. 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We're back. That was a great ad pivot, Garrison, really good for a first try. I tend to advise more death threats against billionaire social media, which will then get edited out, CEO's, which will then get edited out. Yeah, yeah. That's key to the process, is all of the all of the incitements to violence that we have to have Chris edit from the podcast, which is like 30% of the runtime generally, so. That's why this takes so long to record. OK. In 1977 is when Dobson really started the thing that kind of makes him famous or, well, that'll eventually make him, you know, that eventually be what he's known for. He started his own weekly radio show, initially got picked up by 40 stations. The Washington Post article reads by 1978. Oh, wait, sorry. Yeah, this is, this is, this is separate. So he he had his radio show. What he was also doing at the time was filming seminars and selling them. And then also churches would like invite him to teach seminars like across the country. And then here's the Washington Post article. By 1978, Dobson's seminars on the family, like on family issues, were making so much money drawing up to 3000 people per weekend at $12.00 a ticket, that he finally quit his job at University of Southern California and formed his own nonprofit company focused on the family, which he was then he what he retitled his radio show as well. So he's making so much money from these, like, seminars he would do every once in a while. Like, I'm it's unclear how often he did these. Like, it's not you can't really find that kind of information because this is like in the 60s or 70s, But it's enough that he was able to quit his people, like hearing this guy talk about kid beating. Yeah, yeah. Now what women want. Yes, about what wives wish their husbands knew about women. Yeah. But despite Dobson formally making this a nonprofit company, what he was really starting was a Christian media empire as the name. Tests focus on the family was primarily about Christian family life and how to properly raise their kids. A short quote from the post says Dobson's adult journey into family psychology and family politics is one man's attempt to retrieve the era that he grew up in, which is, is, is, is really fair. All of his kind of stuff is about going back to this era and like the 30s and 40s, about what family life was like back then. Yeah, it's the essence of conservatism, looking back at a past that's half remembered and half imagined. Yeah, that's yeah. That's that is very, that's very accurate. The sentiment is shared by Joyce Johnson of the Child Welfare League saying of Dobson about about how Dobson clings to his philosophy from quote 20 to 30 years ago. That said children were property of their parents. I mean kind of kind of Fair. Yeah they're like cats or dogs but they yell more creatively when you hit them good jobs and yeah like even in the even in the 80s people were people thought his philosophy was like 30 years old. Why are you hitting cats and dogs? It was. It's we're not because. No, no, no. They're property. So, yeah, you can hit your property, according to Dobson, you can just hit your property. Would you get angry at somebody who, like, I don't know, pounded on their desk because they were frustrated? No. Then it's OK for people to hit kids because kids are like a desk. But they're not like a dog. A dog is like a desk. It's property. It's all property. We have property. Oh my God. I'm just, I'm just saying this, Speaking of child abuse, the next cancelled, the next paragraph is gonna be a good one. Oh, good. So, yeah, here's a here's what the post says about some controversy that that, like, of course, is going to develop eventually along Dobson's parenting advice quote. But it is Dobson's view on childhood punishment that got him into the most hot water. Several years ago, this this is a 1990, several years ago, for example, a Massachusetts couple was charged with child abuse because they beat their children and and they say it's because their pastor said it was all right. Based on Dobson's writings. No, that's good. I'm going to bet that's the only time that happens now. Dobson said his books have never advocated beating children. But again, his first book was called Dare to Discipline, and it was about physically punishing your children. Yeah, I think he might argue that. It's not beating them, yes, as long as you're angry. But yeah, so like this this this was an ongoing problem back in the 20th century for most of the 20th and since still now. Seems like it's still an ongoing and it's still an ongoing problem. Yeah, lot of seems like it might have something to do with all those guys who keep assaulting people based on their political opinions. Yeah. A lot of a lot of beating. Yeah is still is still to come cool. Yeah. Mainstream families psychologists say that while setting limits to help build secure parent child relationships are good, there are better methods than the back of the hand or a strap such as giving, you know stuff that was recommended back in the 90s was giving you know people time outs. That was kind of a new concept in the 90s and the article writes spanking can quote stimulate rebelliousness rather than respect and wisdom for the parents. You it's, you know, a psychologist trying to say, Dobson, you're not gonna do good. No. Yeah. Your kids are not going to respect you if they're always thinking about whether or not they're far enough away that you can't get them. Like, part of the cult I was in. I was spanked by people that aren't even my parents. And I have grown up with heavy respect for authority. Yeah, which is why I'm now a journalist. That's what everyone says about you covering the uprising. You respect authority. Love the feds. Yeah, I love all authority. Yeah. So I don't think his really philosophy even that worked. It doesn't. He doesn't even work that much. Even though these psychologists criticize a lot of a lot of Dobson's work because they thought it was, you know, bad, they were quick to admit that he is better known as like as a psychologist and probably a lot richer than they'll ever be. I I doubt there's any American psychologist selling more books than Dobbs. This is a quote from a from a psychologist. I doubt there was any other psychologist selling more books to the American public right now than any other psychologist. This was a a psychologist named Paul Klempt was who's also a professor of psychology. So, yeah, he was, you know, he was really the man for psychology in the 80s and 90s and and the and the late 70s. Dobson was just really starting to kick off. But eventually, Dobson wanted to be more than someone who gives bad parenting advice at the start of focus on the family. It was relatively nonpartisan, still very like conservative. But it wasn't. It wasn't really about partisan politics. He wasn't like he wasn't advocating for candidates or like endorsing parties. In fact, when he when he filed nonprofit status, he answered no to the question if focus on the family would engage in activities intending to influence legislation. Now, this very quickly turned out to be not true. But by 19 so good he started his radio show in 77. He got his nonprofit status in 78. By late 79, Dobson started to get more formally involved with politics. President Carter was forming what becomes known as the White House conferences on the family, and Dobson wanted in. Focus on the family's vice president and cofounder named Gil Alexander Mcgarrell. Uh described Dobson's entry into politics like this quote. Jim got tired of telling people what to do when a 6 year old went to bed, UN quote. Yes, you might as well start making policy, unlike nukes and ****. So he may as well start making a lot of a lot of this is a really interesting time in the history of, like, American evangelism, because that period of time, like, right as so Carter came got elected off the strength of the evangelical Christian. Vote. And he was the last Democrat that that was ever true of because Reagan was elected immediately afterwards based on a lot of friends of Mr Dobson's, including Dobson, including Dobbs. We're going to find out about this. Yeah. Uniting them all, you know, mainly to deal with abortion and gay rights and women doing stuff that isn't getting hit by their husbands. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. This is that whole very cool period of time in politics. Yeah, it's it's not great the way Dobson describes his move into politics and the way he marketed. Change in topic to his audience again. He had to switch his audience to being used to him. Talking about like family issues, talking about political stuff. Now the way he the way he like gets past this is talking about how like schools and governments are taking authority of parenting away from the parents. Like the schools. Governments are becoming too influential in deciding what kids are and aren't allowed to do, essentially. Robson says this in an interview. Until 15 years ago, a girl couldn't Pierce your ears without getting her parents permission. Now a parent can send a 13 year old to school, the school can transplant that child to have an abortion, and the parent won't even know about it. She may come home and begin to bleed and the parents won't know why. Parenting the parents have been eliminated from the entire process. How did that happen? It was discussed somewhere, even debated, but Christians didn't participate, which I don't think true in the 70s or 80s, nor. Even now, kind of 13 year olds get sent to a hospital to have an abortion by a school and the parents not know. Yeah, I don't think that's ever happened ever. I I don't know. At least not in the 70s. Yeah, I think we would. Yeah. I I don't think that's that's a thing. But I don't know, maybe, maybe, maybe I'm wrong on this. We could be, but I I think not in the 70s. No, because it's a minor and it's a major medical procedure. You usually don't get, like rights. For your body medically until yeah. So you don't have any right to privacy as a 13 year old because your property like a desk. That's what Dobson would say. Yeah, Dobson's, you know, cofounder of folks in the family who later, you know, came out kind of against Dobson because he was scared of what he was doing. Like Gil Alexander. Mccarrel wrote a whole book about Dobson called James Dobson's War on America's awesome. Now, this is, I hope somebody writes a book like that about me one day. Robert Evans word America. Well, on the FDA, maybe it's a good title. Yeah. Good. Here's a quote from the very good book James Dobson's War in America. Two years after we started focusing the family, Jim got his first taste of the surreal sense of power and control that working in Washington offers. The flavor is sweet to to this only child and ever since focus on the families come component about. Political activism has been essential feature in the life and work of James Dobson and one that he personally relishes more than any other aspect of it. And then this absolutely is true. He he as soon as he got some political influence. You got, like, addicted to this? Yeah, it's almost like power is is a literal drug that that ruins people, and if you are already kind of ****** beforehand, it makes you into something more frightening than any any anything Lovecraft ever dreamed up. Sure, yeah, yeah. How did we end up at Lovecraft? I don't know. But like cosmic horror. Terrifying cosmic. James Dobson. I think about cosmic horror. I think about the the death of stars and the death of many teenagers. Yeah, a lot of teenagers. Which we'll we'll find out about. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The the first taste of worming his way, like the first taste of power, was him worming his way onto The Carter Family Advisory Council. Like the thing that President Carter established by now, focus on the family's radio program was expanded to a daily 15 minute program instead of a weekly one. It was on hundreds of stations. Now, a year later, in 1981, the program got turned into a 30 minute show. It became racking up thousands of stations around then. What now? The way. Dobson got on this Council is that one day on air he persuaded his listeners that he needed to be on this, this, this whole like family conference thing, telling them that such conferences are usually dominated by, quote, Eastern establishment liberal secular humanists. He's got all the buzzwords in there, yeah. So Dobson was was trying to scare his audience and saying that maybe, if maybe that he can. Maybe Dobson can't get invited on if his listener is right in to the conference director urging to invite Doctor Dobson and wrote and wrote in they did. 8080 thousand people either called in or wrote in to the White House requesting Dobson joined the committee Slash Conference. An invitation to join was sent out to this relatively unknown. Christian radio psychologist from LA. Oh yeah, so take notes, listeners, because I would like to be on a Commission. You want to really care with 80,000 people? Call in. Yeah, just whatever, whatever. Commission it doesn't matter. Commission. Robert wants. We're going to get him on. Yeah. Everyone get your phones ready to pick a random something like something to do with like like like potatoes or some ****. Something something in the add Potato conference would be good. Yeah, I could. I know a lot about potatoes. Quito like the ones that are running in your house a few weeks ago I did. I did have some potatoes that were left in my cabinet for far too long. Yeah. Yeah. And you got really potatoes. So after this invitation was sent out, the post article writes, that's when he realized the power of his electronic forum, the power he's not hesitated to use on other issues, including the civil Rights Restoration Act. And now, here this is Dobson got Dobson got hundreds of thousands of people to call in and oppose the civil Rights Restoration Act of 1984. The bill then failed to pass on the on the first few votes that they tried to do. It only passed four years later, in 1988, after quote abortion neutral language was added. So, you know, you utilizing your public power to quash the civil Rights Restoration Act. Yeah, as one does. As one does. Yeah. Loving this story. So here, here's the good part. After the bill was passed with, you know, the with the abortion neutral language, Reagan then vetoed the bill. Great, great. I love politics and sensational. The Senate then had to override his veto. It's unclear how much influence Dobson had on this whole, like vetoing process with Reagan and stuff, but as we'll soon see, Dobson and Reagan became very close friends. And Dobson did not hesitate to use his power to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to call the government to complain about the just happened to agree with him about hitting little kids. That was my Reagan. There's some really good pictures of Dobson and Reagan together, just sitting together pretending the AIDS crisis isn't happening as they both were wanting to. Dobson was happy about the AIDS crisis. Yeah, Dobson hated gay people so much. I'll bet that was the best thing that ever happened to him. That's why he wasn't talking about gay people in the 80s, because he was. Happy where things were going. He only started talking with him in the 90s and 2000s when they started to get a little bit better. Yeah, when? When they weren't all dying. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sure that was hard for him. Shortly after Ronald Reagan's election, he put Dobson on the National Advisory Commission to the officer of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program, which is way too long of a title. Yep, that's way too long of a title for anything. But Dobson got put on this because Reagan liked him. Dobson also served as Co chairman on the citizens. Advisory panel for tax reform. In consultation with Reagan. I I don't know what Dobson's qualifications were for tax reform because that's not really part of any of his education like he has any meaning training and like there he was running a nonprofit tax-exempt business that was just a media empire at this point. So I really don't think he should be the one on this tax advice is just convinced me that I do have what it takes to run the American Coast Guard. I I'm gonna I'm gonna start I'm going to start putting out feelers to the Biden Cutler put me in charge of the Coast Guard listener. Everyone, let's e-mail the Biden team. Yeah, and let's get Robert in charge. I don't know what I'll do, and neither will the Coast Guard. That'll keep them on their toes. Uh, Dobson also served as a member. Dobson, also. Dobson also served as a we. Speaking of the Coast Guard, Dobson served as a member and the and the chairman of the United States Army's Family Initiative, which was like about army families and stuff and, you know, you know stuff. He was appointed to Attorney General Edwin Meese's Commission on *********** in the mid 80s and he got put on a teen pregnancy prevention panel, which I think is not a good call as someone who hates abortion. But, you know, it seems like he might not have a lot of helpful things to share there. Yeah. And he also got put on Attorney General's Advisory Board on missing and Exploited Children. He was up to so much stuff. Seems like he actually might know why some kids are missing. He is. He is responsible for a lot of missing children. Ohh, his kind of work is the reason why a lot of kids ran away. Yeah, especially in the 90s and 2000s. Good decision for those kids to make. Yeah. So despite him being up to a lot of stuff during the Reagan years, Dobson wanted more and he wanted more direct lobbying power. This next bit is taken from the Washington Post article again, the 19 in 191988. Dobson convinced that Dobson was convinced that the conservative cause needed more help than he alone could give. He persuaded the focus on the family board to buy the Family Research Council. Since that purchase, the Family Research Council has become one of the largest evangelical Christian lobbying organizations in Washington. And this is slightly inaccurate. It was the biggest Christian lobbying group ever in the history of this country. Awesome. The former vice president and uh and co-founder, who since since like came out against Hobson, now says I've Dobson. He is a tremendous threat to the separation of church and state. James Dobson lobbies Washington more powerfully than any individual or organization within the religious right. I mean, I'm glad he figured it out after a while, but it would have been nice if he hadn't helped him, if he didn't help him start the business, start the thing that is essentially a giant weapon aimed at shooting all of our freedom in *** **** he should have or whatever he should have. Realized that? Yeah. Do you know who won't shoot your freedom in *** ****? Robert or whatever? Oh my God. Or or whatever inclusive here. 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You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. And hello, we are back. This is Garrison talking about. Focus on the family here. And this is Robert listening and planning a violent counter coup. Yes, and well. Well, we'll figure things out after the recording session. Why does it have to be violent? Uh, just cause of the mercenaries I hired. Ohh, sorry, does Jim. I should have been more prepared. I should have bought more than one. You should have bought mercenaries. It's a coup. Yeah, I should have planned this little bit. You wanna get yourself some former Navy seals who have just been doing nothing but mainlining cocaine ever since they got out of the server? Building pipe bombs and building pipe. Those are the best guys to help you do a coup. They never, for example, wind up arrested on the streets of Venezuela soaking in their own urine. Good times. Better times than this because in the mid better times than the mid 90s in America because in the mid 90s Dobson was receiving $125 million in lobbying power Jesus between focus and family, Family Research Council. In in the 90s, the family the FRC that's kind of referred to or they they continue to be an active Christian lobbying group today. It's not as influential now but it still is active. Yeah, it also is affiliated with a with a conservative PAC called Family Research Council action in 2010, the Southern Power. They were skipping ahead a little bit, but we'll go back in time later. 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center declared the group as an anti-gay hate group. Seems like that's fair. This is the family Family Research Council lobbying group here. Focus on the family. Never got declared an anti-gay hate group because it was they were too religious about it that Southern Poverty Law Center didn't feel comfortable calling it that. I feel very comfortable calling it an anti-gay hate group because they ran a conversion therapy program. We're going to talk more about what focus in the family was doing for anti-gay stuff in in in Part 2 because they didn't really get really active that until the 90s, but the post article sums up quite well what made dobsons. Entry into politics, unique at the time, and they kind of ushered in a whole new type of political Christian conservative activism. Dobson says he has no intention of ever running for office, a pledge even his critics believe. But he also he also says focus in the family should not endorse candidates, although letters to the GOP and and Democratic presidential nominees, and in 1988 copied and sent out to constituents, leaves little room for doubt that he believed Bush to be the better candidate. But what made it more unique is how Dobson entered into politics quietly, without the press conferences. And pump that's surrounded predecessors like Reverend Jerry Falwell. Uh. This represents a maturing of a certain segment of evangelicalism within mainstream politics, particularly in the in the Republican Party, according to a Brookings Institution Fellow, an expert on religious life. Gone are the days of TV preachers and bombast. What lay in their place are layman like Dobson who are emerging and taking more of A and talking more about with a palatable language that's less about religion and more about civil rights. It's like trying to like, you know, their their right to run. Their right to raise their kids their way and their right for, you know, unborn babies, that's like, it's like it's the real change from from like religious conservative activism to being like to be mainly about religion to being more about civil rights was was Dobson Kind, was the first one to do that, which is now. We see a lot of that nowadays in the Senate and Congress in the White House. OK. Yeah. So, yeah, there's a 1995 ABC primetime profile on Dobson opens up, opens up like this. He was one of the most powerful men in the country, and yet few people even know his name on Capitol Hill. He's treated like some big, powerful lobbyist because he was and yeah, but and you've probably never, you never, you probably never heard of him, but James Dobson is one of the most influential leaders in the entire religious right. Dobson's vision to transform America is known to every member of the House and Senate, and he's been delivering his messages to the White House in person. For years, thanks ABC for really cracking the case on that one in the 90s. Dobsons often described as like a stealth campaigner or a stealth lobbyist for his ability to remain kind of under the radar despite its massive influence. Because yeah, if if you even if you're kind of into politics, there's a good chance that now you've never even heard of focus in the family or Family Research Council or Dobson because he was very good at staying under the radar despite his massive power. Yeah, they're just one of those groups that you like you. You see them referenced constantly, you see their logo on things, but it's usually just with a bunch of other *******. You know, different like non governmental organizations. Like it doesn't it's not the kind of. Yeah no that's that's really how you exercise terrifying power. That's good. Yeah. Because it's more dangerous because we knew so little about it at the time while everybody's angry about, I don't know, there was other stuff happening. There was other stuff happening. Couple of wars I think. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. As Dobson's political aspirations were growing, so was focus on the family's so-called nonprofit publishing empire. Citing the book stations of the Cross Christianity Today, which is the biggest evangelical slash Christian magazine, DAB focus on the family's president and founder, James Dobson, the undisputed king of Christian Radio. In 1995, focus on the family was the third most listened to radio show in the entire country, after the Rush Limbaugh and Paul Harvey programs, an estimated 20.6 million people. Listen to his evangelical radio program at least once a week. So is that so many people? And then in the 90s, he was the 3rd, but he had the third most popular radio show in the entire in the entire country. Well, that's terrible. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not, I'm not happy with the way this is going. Really thinking electricity might have been a mistake. And it's good that Rush Limbaugh is the most. And then and then it's Paul Harvey. And then it changed jobs. Although actually, according to other sources, James Dobson beat out beats out Paul Harvey in some years. It's they're kind of neck and neck. But Rush Limbaugh is the first one. And yes, then you have then you have James Dobson. Rush Limbaugh is the first one, the good, all the good old 1-2 combo. Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson. Dobson wasn't a big part of my childhood, but Limbaugh was. And I that's why I'm having fun lessons from my mom. Like why it's OK to carpet bomb the Middle East. And I had. I had the opposite. I didn't have Rush Limbaugh, but I had James Dobson. Oh well, yeah. So yeah, that explains the differences between us, the only differences we have. That that one event has. And the Canada thing you like you call hats the wrong word. What do you call hats took? It's a it's a Canadian. It's a little took. Degenerate term. Yeah, I know. Cancel me on Twitter. Sophie, do it. Write a post. Listeners can't see it, but my face went, Oh yeah, it went like, wow, what's I know Sophie's pressed the proper reaction to Canadian verbiage. Yeah. By by 1990, they had seven separate magazines in print. Focus on the family here for this number. They had good content for all of this nonprofit magazine. It's 7, seven of them, which they sold. Again, nonprofit only focus on the family successfully had books being published themselves. At this point, many seminars and sermons were taped. And then. Old nationally and internationally, they they gotta deal with the US Army. Oh, that's good. the US Army, like, bought. That's where they should be and sent them out to, like, teach army parents to get their kids. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Makes sense. Yeah. Because you're in the army, you know how to hit. But you might not know it's OK to hit your own children. You don't just have to hit Iraqis. You can hit your kids. It'll help you get better at hitting Iraqis. It's good practice. Makes. Yeah. If you get good at doing it to your children without remorse, you can hit any other child in Iraq if you can harm your own children without a thought. Then you can really commit violence on behalf of the state. Yeah, yeah, focus on the family. Made a 13 episode live action, like Half Live Action, half animated TV show called Maggie and Me. They started a whole film department, most popular for their last Chance detectives series in the mid 90s, which cost like $1,000,000 per film to make. And it's all just propaganda, right? Here's the not all of it. Which is why you it's actually really interesting and dangerous. That's why you hear about focus on the family. Like, you'll see their name at the end of a bunch of different, like, Public TV shows and stuff. Yeah, right. Yeah, so, like, the thing about all of their entertainment media is that more often than not, it's frustratingly competent because, again, they had hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal. A review of mcgeeney, which I've watched all of as a kid. I watched, I watched all this stuff, all these things. Last chance detectives go. That kind of helped me get on my detective path, which I'm now using. You are you are a detective. Yeah, but but yeah, those of you who don't know you are. Garrison tracked down the identity of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Kenosha shooter, like 6 hours before the police figured out who it was. There's a Forbes article about it. Yeah, yeah. Thanks. Focus on the family. A review of McGee and me from Chicago from the Chicago Tribune says that the show is exceptional, saying it has the production quality is top notch. The show offers an entertaining mixture of live action animation as well as well written stories with positive more messages. And although the stories are definitely based on principles from the Bible, the series isn't excessively preachy or pushy, which is why I can get on the air. And apparently the animation from the show was done by the award-winning team from Fraggle Rock, My Little Pony and Muppet Babies. Fraggle rock, yeah? No, I'm sorry, Robert. Tony. No, I know, I'm sorry, Robert. The Fraggle Rock people got thrown into this and Muppet babies. That's the one that I didn't want to hear. The Fraggle Rock Dudes helped make my little dominionist. Christian, properly let us let us talk about but that they miss and Fraggle Rock. Sophie, come on my little step back. Unacceptable. I'm not happy with any of this, but by far the most successful and popular media program that focuses the family has ever made and run is an audio drama series. Called Adventures in odyssey. Now, we're going to go on a bit of an aside here, because again, this is, this is radio, this is we're, we're on radio. What is radio Garrison? It sounds with your voices. Sounds with your voices. What a concept. Forms and wavelengths. And yeah, I'm not sure it's gonna catch on, but continue. I listened to shitloads as the of the show as a kid. It's been running nonstop since 1987, and by 1995, it was the second most listened to Christian radio program. Can you guess what? It was only beaten out by the other focus of the family program. Yeah. Great. That's OK. So the premise of the show is that you're in this small Midwestern town and the main character is this old Christian man named Mr Whitaker, who is an ex secret agent and a genius inventor who runs a like an ice cream shop slash Learning Center called Witsand. Here's a picture Roberts of it. Sounds like you're describing the kind of dreams that you get after, I don't know, like taking a **** load of acid and being gassed to show is so weird. Yeah. So here's Mr Whitaker. He can you describe how that looks to the audience? It looks like Wilford Brimley. Oh yeah, he looks like Wilford Brimley. Yeah. So even though I said the main character is this old ex agent man who was an inventor and runs an ice cream shop, their perspective characters are these like different families that psycho out of the show every ten years or so. They deal with family issues and small town political issues, and this old guy is like a mentor figure to this whole town. I'm gonna show you, I'm sure, Robert. I'm sure, Robert. A picture of one of these families. I don't like his outfit. You know, like his outfit? No? OK, well, I'm not sure. Robert, a picture of one of these families and note, these are the only black characters they've ever had in the entire show. Great. When when they were there. So they got over the course of the 30 years for for five years out of the 30 years there made family was the Black family. But besides that, they had no black characters. Here is no. Oh, Oh no. So they just drew OJ Simpson? Yeah, right. They just drew OJ Simpson for the dad. OK. It's really bad. That's ohh boy. And they all boy accentuated teeth and. Really big white teenager. Giant foreheads. Tiny eyeballs. It's really bad. That is OJ Simpson, though, correct? That is absolutely OJ Simpson. That is James Orenthal Simpson, the most innocent man in history of shoes, right? Yeah, yeah, the juice was loose for five years on Christian television. Now, this episode that I listened to as the episode that is our workers from gave me nightmares as a child. By the way, before I saw the artwork was because of some. It was like it was their closest together, getting to like a horror episode. I see that they're in an Old West. Yeah, they're they're, they're little. Why is the kid hold? I just realized he's holding an acting like he doesn't have an axe pickaxe. Yeah, it's because they were like they were like. I forget, but I know there's episode. I know this specific episode gave me nightmares because they went to this old western town, had to like take up a treasure or something. Yeah, I'm sure there were ghosts. Listeners all post these photos on socials. Ghosts aren't aloud cause of Christian stuff. Ohh right, because that would imply an afterlife outside of the. I've told you this before, but one of them was popular episodes is called Castles and Cauldrons. And they had a D&D and they had they had an episode about how D&D is bad in satanic. Yeah, it's good, it's good. This seems like a fun show that you watched. So much of this, yeah. Yeah. So like it was a radio show. They also made a television show based off of it. OK, animated. So the original gimmick of the show is that Mr Whitaker, the inventor, ex agent guy, made this invention called the Imagination Station, which is like a mix of the holodeck and a time machine. Kind of unclear. Now, the purpose this serves in the show is a way to travel to the quote UN quote past to teach the audience and audience surrogates, quote UN quote history. An incredibly, an incredibly whitewashed, pro colonial Christian revisionist history. I mean, that's all terrible, but I'm already coming up with an alternate cannon in my head in which Mr Whitaker is a former CIA agent and all he's doing is dosing these kids an agent from the NSA. Yeah, now I've got my own headcanon. He's given him LSD. This is all he's continuing MK Ultra on his own wanna make way? That would make way more sense. Yeah, but like, again, the frustrating thing is that the show is very well produced, often hiring LA voice actors. Like it has people from the Animaniacs who are still on the show now, which I don't know how. Yeah, because people need paychecks. The main character from Steven Universe, like the guy who voices Steven used to, when he was a very small child, voiced a character on this show before he broke out into animation for Steven Universe and stuff. You know, a very gay show. Yeah, yes. And focus on the family is a very not gay friendly company. I mean, if he was a kid. He was a very young child. And now he's now he's an adult. Yeah. We all need paychecks. Yeah. Yeah. Again, good health insurance in this country years. And I don't know if they taught you that in Canada. Yeah, I I know. I live here. I know. Yeah. Yeah. Not a great call, by the way. I know. Anyway, yeah, there was spinoff movies, tons of books. For some reason, Mr Whittaker's son is also a secret agent. OK. But the the goal you see. Wait, so we stop. So stop Minnesota comment to you wait guys. Alright, so the goal of the show writer is supposed to make him like an anti James Bond or like a Christian version of James Bond. Now. Robert fixture, that man in your head. What people in the 90s, Christian people in the 90s thought the Christian version of James Bond would look like. Picture that in your head. OK. Do you have him? Yeah. Right now we Scroll down. Here he is. Which wait, all? He's all of them? All these all three is Indiana Jones clearly in one of those. So there's three pictures here, one of them in like a very tight shirt. The first he's in In Sync. Yeah, yeah, he looked. He does look like a member of *NSYNC in the first one. He has Backstreet Boys In Sync just for the has like, he has like, he has like a goatee. He has like a little like soul patch and goatee. He's not attractive. It's not good. His. He has giant feet. Yeah. Future abnormal and elf like at the top. And then in one of these pictures, they've done a terrible thing and put him in Indiana Jones outfit, which I am offended by. Yeah, yeah. It's very upsetting. Who was he in the middle? Because Indiana Jones, that's very. Famously was not a Christian because he knew for certain about the existence of other deities. Yeah, we have magical powers. All stuff, all three of the same character. These look like this is the same. This is the same guy. This is the same guy. Yeah, well, I guess. I guess. Indiana Jones's religious status is unknown, but he both engages with, like, mystical powers on behalf of Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity. So you have to assume he's got some new and nuanced understanding of the yeah, I just don't like that. Yeah, that this person, they tried to make a cool Christian version of James Bond who looks terrible. Yeah, the person in the first guy. Definitely the most babelicious of the three. Yeah, I really. He looks like Lance bass. No, he doesn't. He looks like the JC. Oh no, I'm so sorry 90s. We'll have to agree to disagree. Alright, anyway. I don't know who that is. I think he's the he definitely knows the bye bye bye dance the ball back to Dobson, back to Dobson specifically. One of his more weird Griffs was doing Ted Bundy's final interview. How did that happen? You're gonna find out. OK. On the date. On the day before Bundy was executed in 1989, Bundy received hundreds of interview requests from media outlets. He denied all of these and specifically requested to be interviewed by James Dobson. OK, the entire interview was about how it was actually *********** that caused Bundy to murder and rape all of those people. What a weird last flick. Which, which, which, which. Was, which Bundy specifically argued against in court. He said it wasn't ***********. And then as a final troll, he got Dobson in to, like, record this whole interview about who was actually poor. And that made him murder and rape old people. So what a piece of so not only does he kill all those people and so, but like the last thing he gets a choice over, he uses that choice to **** ** **** for everybody. Yes. So it's clearly dubson Dobbs. It's kind of minding my mind about this Ted Bundy character. Oh, this is really pushed you over the edge. I'm no longer, I'm no longer neutral on the Bundy issue. Well, that's that's a good development. I'm kind of concerned for your previous Bundy's views, but OK, like I have one tattoo with the guy. That doesn't mean that tattoo. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's like Roger Stone. Roger Stone Nixon. Yes. So it's clear that Bundy was essentially trolling Dobson and the entire world here. But Dobson found a way to capitalize on this exclusive the tapes were technically free to use, but with the stipulation that the interview be aired in its entirety without editing or interruption, which is over like an hour long. So it gave Dobson a lot of time to talk Jesus, which of course news. News media is not going to do that. Yeah. So it's technically free to you because, again, he runs a nonprofit company, but he would he would sell it. If if you cut down the interview at all you he would charge you for the tapes. This is proved to be extremely profitable for Dobson. He either gets he *******. Speak. OK. Capitalized on Ted Bundy. Yeah, awesome. He either gets a straight hour of media exposure on national news programs or he gets money. Within a year, Dobson raked in over $1,000,000 in profit from the tapes. Awesome. He initially pocketed all of the money for himself. Oh yeah, good. Why would you give it to the families of his victims? But amid public outcry, he donated $600,000 to it, a $600,000 of it to anti **** groups and anti abortion. You know you're a good person, and when you're back, story repeatedly includes the line amid public outcry. Well, that he he kept. He kept. So like he kept $400,000 for himself and but but part of this $600,000 donated to anti **** and anti abortion groups focus on the family is included as those groups. So he just gave the money to himself. He kept a ***** ** ****. He kept beautiful. He kept $400,000 in his own bank account. Yeah, and then gave the rest to the business he owns. Ah, that's I gotta hand it to him. That's a good grift. That's a good grip. Good grifts not not many people would look at a man who repeatedly raped and molested the corpses of his victims and go I bet I can make $1,000,000 off this guy. So every media empire needs its own castle. Folks in the family is no exception and in 1990 focus on the family claims they accepted a $4 million grant from the Colorado based El Pamor Foundation. The Foundation website says they accept applications from 501C3 organizations to serve. Colorado in the areas of arts and culture and community and health and blah blah blah, whatever. So at the time, focus on the family was based out of California, so they applied for this grant. And then they got this money so that they had then they had to move to Colorado to get the grant accepted, so $4 million. They uh. They transferred 350 employees from California to Colorado and hired 400 more in state. A 46 acre lot was purchased to build their grand headquarters in Colorado. In Colorado Springs, they have their entire they have their own entire ZIP code for their for their headquarters. Great. During a tour of the folks in the family offices in 1993, a couple from Michigan asked if handling all of the sightseers in the main building was a distraction from the regular working. Staff. The working staff said yes. The couple then donated $4 million to build a new visitor center on the land. So focus on the family soon had built 526,100 square feet of stuff on their Colorado, Colorado property, including an entire replica of Wits End that the ice cream shop Slash Learning Center from their radio program. Which? Which I have been to. Ohh has the ice cream? Ice cream is not bad, right? Rest of it. I may have some notes. Did you get dragged by a former spook? No, but my brother did cut his head open. Ohh, in here. He fell and cut his head open. He still scar. You'll you'll should have sued. Well, we were very happy at the time because we were there. Yeah. Cult. Yeah. Whatever. Yeah. So I've been there. To focus on the family is like welcome center kind of film. He has like always, you know, people have like, always have like a film playing on a television, whatever. Dobson compares his decision to build the headquarters in Colorado Springs to the founding of the Temple at Jerusalem. OK, OK. Makes a lot of interesting calls this guy. So when when I went to the focus of the family headquarters when I was like 10, I was not there in a journalistic capacity because I was ten years old and in a cult. So I'm going to refer to a Sloan article about touring the facility in the in the late 90s. The tour guide takes me upstairs to where the real work happens. We we stopped first at A at a viewing room for an area full of cubicles, 120 people work here. The two are explains. All they do is answer, focus on the family correspondence. The room is empty today because it's a Saturday, but, he says during the week it brims with activity. He tells me how focused listeners pour out their problems, asking for prayers on on their behalf, and and seek advice on things like marital problems, depression, and their sons and daughters who are gay. We receive about 10,000 letters a day, he says. Sometimes they send money, the guide admits, but focus on the family doesn't require them to every every letter gets an answer, regardless of who sends it. He points out that the correspondence staff takes the initiative to send out free literature, books and tapes of focus on the family broadcasts, even to those who donate focus on the family also keeps a database with a description of everyone's problem to refer back to them if the person ever writes again. This database has over 4,000,000 names. That's. Really creepy? No, it that's so weird. It gets worse. This database is very interesting and terrifying. A big part of the Daily Radio show is asking listeners to write in with questions or for people to send donations. Sometimes they'll advise, like if you donate X amount, we'll ship you this book as a thank you. You know, stuff like that gets kind of common. The focus of the family cofounder describes the radio business model like this. Most focus on the family broadcast give the appearance of half of half hour talk shows, but are actually 30 minute. Commercials for our focus on the family product. It's as ingenious as it is perfectly legitimate. The goal here is obviously for people to send money because, you know, there are donation, primarily a donation based nonprofit going quote, they also sell stuff or or you like buy stuff, but it's technically a donation and they send you a book. So thank you, which is, you know, yeah. But so sending them so the goal is to send money. But just sending them any correspondence is a win because whether they send in money or just a question, their names and addresses get added to this master database. A special complimentary magazine is sent out monthly to everyone in this database. Just like just like the radio show is a product catalog thinly veiled as a parenting guide, so is this this magazine that they send out? It's mainly the people it's it's to, you know, they advertise their products and stuff, but it's thinly veiled as like. Writing advice for like, you know, a free free magazine from focus on the family and people on smelling this are also strongly encouraged to set up a monthly donation with a with different like, thank you gift tiers, kind of like Patreon. Not only does Dobson and focus on the family use this database as like a grifting machine, it's also another way for Dobson to deploy his army of supporters. He will routinely personally write letters for a call to action, including a way for someone to contact Capitol Hill. Then then he can reflect mail out to everyone in in this database, you know, for people to respond so they can easily, you know, get changes in legislation done. So this database, combined with his ability to simply disparagingly mention a piece of that of of a piece of legislation on air, can get resulting in hundreds of thousands of people to write in or call in. He also. He also has the power to mobilize people to meet his political goals through this like database, like letter system. And everyone in Washington knows this, which is why so many conservative politicians have gotten so cozy with Dobson. It's because he has this database that he can just use on a whim. To, like, mail something out, to like millions of people and then also just address stuff on his radio show. What an impressive grift, though. And part of why this works is because he develops a parasocial relationship with his listeners. It's like, hey, I, James, as your friend, need your help with this thing, I will send you a letter. You know, call in to us. If you have a family issue, you know, he'll get people to respond, then just get more and more names added, added to the database. Massive thing. A huge amount of the right wing, like the whole right wing is all about. Getting mailing lists, which you then monetize and used to drive donations and stuff. Yeah. So in the in the next episode, we're going to hear about the best thing that ever happened with this database, but also all the gay conversion therapy program do it in the 2000s. So we have those two things to look forward to, but that is the end of this section about focusing the family. And James Dobson, how do you, how do you feel, Robert? I feel good. I love so far been pretty standard kind of, yeah, I love that he. Managed to make hundreds of millions of dollars for himself and his organization, although those two things are essentially the same because nobody ever goes after these people for breaking the law flagrantly. I loved that he monetized a mass murderer and then when he got in trouble from monetizing it, he still gave the money to himself himself. I love. I love. What I love about the right is the the complete lack of ethical consistency and the total and all consuming lust for power. And I think in James Dobson embodies that in a number of ways, but most clearly in his desire to have people do violence to children. Because that's really the core of like, that right wing obsession with power is like, if a child disrespects an adult, they deserve to be harmed. This was an idea that I grew up with a lot, too. Like my mom would tell me if I ever, if I ever hear you talk back to an adult, like I'll beat the **** out of you and variations of that and the things that I got the most physical punishment. Or as a kid were times in which I disrespected an adult. This idea that, like, the worst thing you can do as a child is not respect the power of adults. It it it all speaks to the kind of man he is. And as soon as he realizes, like like when he's got no power before he gets into politics, then he's obsessed with this idea of disciplining children. But as soon as he has some chance to force his views on everyone else, he takes it. Because that's the kind of person he is. He doesn't want people to be able to do things. He doesn't personally want them doing. That's the essence of him and of conservatism. Yeah, yeah, that's cool. What's that as as we'll learn more about gay conversion therapy, which involves a lot of child abuse in the next episode. Yeah. Awesome. Robert, do you have any plug cables you wanna plug? I really enjoyed that. Yeah, you know, I have a podcast. It's this one. You can yeah, you can listen to it on the Internet, users. Awesome. Yeah, she's great. The Internet's also great. One of many things that has no consequences. So find me. Find me on the Internet alongside a bunch of racists plotting the downfall of civilization. But Roberts on Twitter at I right. OK. I'm on Twitter at Matt Hungry bowtie. There's at public store behind the ********. Can get the FDA approved to prevent all diseases thing. I'll see you guys in next episode. Yeah, Robert, you're right shook right now. Look how well he did. I always knew he was coming from behind. Do you phrasing alright, goodbye. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. 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