What do Tulsi Gabbard, Stehekin and the Science of Identity Foundation have in common?


Stehekin is a beautiful and distinct area in main Washington state that’’ s extremely hard to get to, as it can just be reached by foot, airplane or boat. It’’ s at the end of the charming 55-mile-long Lake Chelan and about 95 individuals live there year-round.

So how does this separated area end up being a religious beliefs story including Tulsi Gabbard, the very first Hindu to be chosen to Congress and one in a congested field of Democrats contending for president?

I can’’ t state I ’ ve ever become aware of Civil Beat, a site in Honolulu, however they created a quite fascinating story on this girl and presumed regarding send out a press reporter to Washington state to attempt to track the story down. It starts:

STEHEKIN, Wash.– Deep in the Washington state wilderness, an extremely paid political expert is generating numerous countless dollars from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ’ s governmental project.

It ’ s the sort of cash generally invested in nationwide name-brand political operatives with big personnels and dynamic workplaces’based in Washington, D.C., or New York.

But couple of individuals in business have actually ever become aware of Kris Robinson, the owner of Northwest Digital, a website design and web marketing company working for Gabbard ’ s project. His business address is a P.O. box here in Stehekin, a remote town in the Northern Cascades mountains that ’ s well-known for its seclusion.

After discussing how really far-off this location is,

Yet in the very first 6 months of 2019, federal project financing records reveal Gabbard paid Robinson and his business more than$ 259,000 … Robinson is among her leading suppliers.

Then the faith angle appears.

Like her, he has ties to an unknown spiritual sect called the Science of Identity Foundation that ’ s based in Kailua and run by a reclusive master whose followers have actually shown political aspirations. …

But Federal Election Commission records reveal that in between 2013 and 2019 Gabbard ’ s governmental and congressional projects have actually paid more than$ 531,000 to Robinson,( and his business) Honu Creative and Northwest Digital.

He and his business have actually never ever worked for another political leader, records reveal.

That absence of a political resume makes Robinson stand out, especially to name a few leading dollar suppliers, specialists and pollsters operating in high stakes governmental politics … Gabbard and her project personnel have actually declined to discuss Robinson and what particularly he has actually done to make numerous countless dollars, specifically how efficient he can actually be on a governmental project while working and living in a remote Pacific Northwest town.

Well, it ’ s all a little unusual, you should confess.

The point of this piece is that Gabbard is paying a completely unqualified individual leading cash despite the fact that the only thing in his favor is they share the very same faiths.

I ’ ve been to Stehekin rather just recently, by the method; in August 2017 when my child and I invested 3 days there. It is genuinely beautiful and, although it ’ s in the middle of no place, an unexpected quantity of individuals appear there, the majority of them treking the close-by Pacific Crest Trail.

Back to the religious beliefs angle in this piece:

The Science of Identity Foundation is a spin-off of Hare Krishna that was begun in Hawaii by the surf-obsessed Butler in the 1970s, and has actually given that infected other parts of the U.S. in addition to nations such as New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines.

( Founder Chris) Butler and his fans had clear political goals in Hawaii, introducing their own celebration called the Independents for Godly Government that in 1976 fielded a slate of more than a lots prospects for federal, state and regional workplace.

Much has actually been blogged about Gabbard ’ s upbringing in the spiritual sect and speculation continues about just how much Butler and the company are affecting or associated with her governmental project.

The story goes on to explain how other followers of this religious beliefs are in some way connected to Gabbard ’ s governmental project. It ends with this penultimate paragraph:

Tsuji likewise declined to discuss Robinson ’ s obvious connections to Butler and the Science of Identity Foundation, and rather offered an unclear declaration on Gabbard ’ s assistance of spiritual liberty.

Well, this is interesting. Rather of another of a stressful stack of non-stop posts on how evangelical Protestants are/are not impacting politics, here we have a story’of how an uncommon spiritual group likewise has their hand in the till, as it were. If anybody threatens their wellness, and they ’ re taking a leaf from the evangelicals ’ playbook in mentioning spiritual liberty.

Also remarkable is the website ’ s essay on why they sent out a press reporter from Hawaii to main Washington to chase this angle.

The subhed: “ The story has absolutely nothing to do with religious beliefs. It ’ s everything about what she ’ s finishing with her fans ’ cash. ”

But is that real? Gabbard ’ s Science of Identity Foundation coterie isn ’ t in this “just for the cash. They need to have other goals. If’so, what are’they?

I’ ’ m more than delighted that a site like Civil Beat invested the time and airline tickets searching for Gabbard ’ s connections to these folks and the truth that she ’ s lavishing a great deal of cash on individuals who have no background in top-level projects. Unlike the nationwide media, which isn ’ t investing the time checking out more unknown information surrounding the lower prospects, a regional media outlet, which understands where all the bodies are buried, is taking Gabbard on.

But is the story religion-free? Not by a long shot.


Read more: getreligion.org

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