The #nationalprayerbreakfast is all over the affidavit for Russian spy Maria Butina. I wrote two books, THE FAMILY & C STREET, about its organizers, the most influential - & secretive - Christian conservative group in DC, known as The Fellowship & internally as The Family.
Lobbyists & foreign nationals use the #nationalprayerbreakfast as "a way to gain entrée to all sorts of people,” the late Michael Cromartie, an evangelical Washington think tanker declared. “And entrée they do get.” #RussianPuppet
The Family - & spies like Maria Butina - use the National Prayer Breakfast precisely because it's not transparent. “It totally circumvents the State Department and the usual vetting within the administration that such a meeting would require,” an internal source boasts.
That's the National Prayer Breakfast as I described it in my book THE FAMILY. Let's look at how DOJ describes it in the #mariabutina affidavit:
Did #mariabutina work through The Family's National Prayer Breakfast only in D.C.? No -- they went to her in Moscow, actively cultivating a relationship with these spies. As I write in THE FAMILY, this is an international movement.
Here #MariaButina discusses using The Family's #nationalprayerbreakfast as part of a plan, "our game," to win "the battle for the future."
& here #MariaButina discusses who to put in the Russian delegation specially invited to The Family's #nationalprayerbreakfast:
It's not just the Russians. "Person Number 1," a U.S. "political operative," helps #MariaButina use The Family's #nationalprayerbreakfast for her operation:
Key thing to know about The Family's #nationalprayerbreakfast is that it's not just the breakfast -- The Family organizes a week of de facto lobbying events. #MariaButina used them to maximize impact:
As I wrote in THE FAMILY, The Family considers the #nationalprayerbreakfast a recruiting device - "1/10 of 1 percent of the iceberg," according to the longtime leader. So did #MariaButina, who used it to recruit - successfully - for her operation within The Family:

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More from @JeffSharlet

Aug 29, 2018
"Why is there no recognition that one person’s playful transgression is another’s traumatic nightmare?”@kathapolllitt speaks truth about Avital Ronell, power, and the vanities afflicting the humanities:…
To speak of vanities and the humanities in the same breath is, according to some defenders of Ronell, evidence of one's secret conservatism. No subtle way to put this, so I won't try: such a notion is simultaneously banal and pretentious as fuck.
Ronell's defenders began their letter by declaring they hadn't seen the evidence. Then:
Read 6 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Reading Dorothy Day, I just learned of NYPD "diet squad," circa 1915, tasked w/ living on bare bones budget - & documenting it for daily papers - & as official rebuttal to those who complained about poverty.
Reading Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness because I recently had the honor of meeting her granddaughter, Martha Hennessy, currently facing possibility of serious prison time for her role in a Plowshares action against a nuclear submarine base:
I went to meet Martha with my friend Peter Manseau, a curator for the Smithsonian. She gave him one of Dorothy Day's rosaries for the museum. I was surprised, tho, telling lefty friends of the encounter, how few had heard of Day. Surprised & dismayed.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 2, 2018
A #Vermont thread: Lloyd tells me 3 ways to get to Morrisville. "Which," he adds, "you don't want to do that." He was born in "Morris," but now he lives in Jeffersonville, "Jeff." Lost his job at a sawmill--"ash, mostly," he says, "dries your hands, cracks 'em to the bone"...
...& then his job as a dishwasher, & the his home. Now he's sick. This fly-specked apt is where the county put him. There were farmers in his line, but not Lloyd. "I weren't," he says. "Don't speak French, neither." The two twinned in his mind, farming & French, Vermont-French.
"There's more Vermont-French than you realize," he says. He never learned. Not computers, either, he says. Not the old way or the new. Now old is new: "corporate," by which means farms bought up, "megabucks," 5, 6, a dozen family farms under one hand...
Read 9 tweets
Jul 30, 2018
Re: my thread about a troubled border crossing yesterday (…), some folks telling me I had the right to not give up my camera. Others telling me to get the pictures back. I appreciate the sentiments, but I don't share either...
Seems to be a lot of gray on the legality of the border guard taking my phone, despite the "no phones" sign. Most recent court ruling seems to suggest they can't do an electronic search unless they suspect crime. I don't think they did a electronic search. They just took it.
But the "legality" of men w/ guns taking your camera because you took a picture of them is, to me, beside the point. It's authoritarian if it's illegal, and it's even more authoritarian if it's been encoded in law.
Read 12 tweets
Jul 29, 2018
What do you tell your kids about borders? Crossing into Canada a few days ago, I warned my 9-yr-old, Saira (not her real name), not to giggle. Crossing was a breeze. Coming back, I said, would take longer...
Entering U.S. involved a lot more questions. The guard questioned Saira. Who is, as I said, nine. But she smiled a lot and all was ok; then he told us to turn off the car, & Saira gasped. Border patrol were surrounding car next to us, hands on their guns, shouting...
Our guard had his hand on his gun, too, & his eyes on the car. "Out of the car!" a guard barked. I was confused. It'd pulled up after us. There'd been no search, no time for search. They couldn't have found drugs. A woman emerged...
Read 34 tweets
Jul 19, 2018
The National Prayer Breakfast's organizer, The Family, has a long history of serving as a backchannel for spies, long before #MariaButina. As I write in THE FAMILY, the very first was Manfred Zapp -- Nazi spy...
Starting in 1938, Zapp posed as a German journalist in Manhattan, a glamorous figure who moved among the elite and even made Walter Winchell's gossip columns. But he had another agenda...
Zapp was a lot smoother than #MariaButina. He actually avoided talk of politics, and somehow found himself at dinner with FDR -- whose reelection he had secretly worked against. Authoritarian election meddling is an old practice....
Read 7 tweets

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