(Rhodes, Greece) Dr Allan C. Carlson, International Secretary of the World Congress of Families and President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society spoke “Family Structure, Educational Liberty and Creative Genius” at the Rhodes Forum October 2-6. Dr. Carlson, one of the foremost authorities on the history of the family and the author of 14 books, presented twice during the conference including the “Family and Education Plenary” and the “Closing Plenary.”
…The session was moderated by: (1) Natalya Yakunina, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, “Sanctity of Motherhood” Program, vice-president of St. Andrew the First-called Foundation and wife of Vladimir Yakunin, founder and president of the World Public Forum, and (2) Larry Jacobs, World Congress of Families Managing Director and Vice President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society.
Many other World Congress of Families leaders and partners participated in this plenary session, including: Christine Vollmer (Venezuela), member of the WCF Management Committee, member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and President and Founder of the Latin American Alliance for the Family (ALAFA); Theodore Baehr (USA) [this guy – RB] – Founder and Publisher, MOVIEGUIDE; Chairman, Christian Film & Television Commission; Theresa Okafor (Nigeria) – African Representative for WCF, CEO of Life League Nigeria; Director of Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH); and Anatoly Antonov (Russia) – co-founder of WCF, Head of the Department of Sociology, Moscow State University, Editor-in-chief of “Population Studies” Journal.
Jacobs observed: “Much credit for the vision and success of the World Public Forum is due to the wisdom and kindness of Vladimir Yakunin, who has invested his time and resources for the betterment of world civilizations. Mr, Yakunin has founded a unique organization that transcends the typical international conflicts on global issues and brings together people of good will from East and West to dialogue, to listen, and to learn about the fundamental values and principles on which a society must be based.”
These “World Public Forum” events have been running for 11 years now, and the speaker line-up is well-established and familiar. Yakunin is a member of Putin’s inner circle and a Orthodox activist; US conservatives are more than happy to buy into a narrative in which western complaints about gay rights in Russia are simply a sign of liberal western decadence and imperialism.
Journalist Kathryn Joyce has a good summary of the world Carlson would like to create:
…Carlson, who has helped craft policy for ultra-right Senator Sam Brownback and Representative Lee Terry of Nebraska, hopes to involve the state in a pro-family welfare system, where tax laws encourage large families, and the government encourages a family-and-faith-centered legal system, which repeals “witch-hunting” child abuse laws that restrict parental discipline as well as no-fault divorce; imposes penalties for unmarried cohabitation; and reconfigures Social Security to provide support on a family, rather than individual basis, so that women are recognized not for their work as independent employees but for their roles as spouses and mothers.
However, American critics of the USA with very different perspectives have also been involved with WFP events: last year, Noam Chomsky sent a video message and Lyndon LaRouche’s wife put in an appearance.
Alongside professional conservative ideologues, the events also attract an impressive array of international academics and religious figures, ranging from the mainstream through to the esoteric UFO enthusiast Carpentier de Gourdon; one of the WFP’s co-founders is Nicholas Papanicolaou, a Greek businessman who is part of a “chivalric order” alongside Gen. Jerry Boykin and neo-Pentecostal evangelist Rick Joyner.
The press release adds:
World Congress of Families VIII will be held in Moscow, the Kremlin, and Russia’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, September 10-12, 2014.
Right Wing Watch notes that planning for this was probably why Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage was recently once again in Moscow:
Once again, Brown didn’t think to announce this publicly, but on a webcast with Jim Garlow yesterday afternoon mentioned that he “just got back from Russia last night” after Garlow thanked him for changing his flight schedule to be on the program. (The exchange is about 15:45 into this video.)
Brown didn’t say what he was in Russia for, but we can guess that he was at the . Brown is an enthusiastic supporter of the group, which pushes anti-gay and anti-choice measures abroad and has been a strong cheerleader for Russia’s recent anti-gay crackdown.
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