The powerful and secretive group known as the Fellowship Foundation or the “Family” is quickly gaining notoriety,
due to its links to two scandal-plagued Republicans, Senator John Ensign of Nevada and Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
According to the Washington Post, however, the Fellowship Foundation is itself linked to an even more secretive
religious organization — Youth With a Mission (YWAM), whose Washington, DC branch owns the “C Street House” where Ensign has lived and where Sanford has participated in Bible study.
A diarist at Daily Kos points out that “YWAM founder leader Loren Cunningham has publicly outlined a vision for Christian world-control,” which
involves establishing domination over government, education, business, the media, and other areas.
The last time YWAM came to notice was in 2006, when Loren Cunningham’s son, David Cunningham, gained attention as
the director of ABC’s bitterly anti-Clinton “docudrama,” The Path to 9/11. According to Talking Points Memo, the younger Cunningham’s ties to YWAM were discovered by Digby and discussed at length on both
Daily Kos and Democratic Underground.
Cunningham was found to be particularly involved in a YWAM offshoot known as The Film Institute, whose goal is to place
its graduates “within the film industry, not to give them jobs, but so that they can begin to impact and transform Hollywood
from the inside out.”
Dave Neiwert, a dedicated student of extremist groups, brought together a variety of items relating to YWAM’s aims
for worldly domination, commenting that what he found especially interesting was “the way these supposedly forthright Christians are now busy covering
the tracks connecting them to The Path to 9/11. All this snooping is obviously making them nervous.”
YWAM has also been accused of having cult-like tendencies, which were detailed at length in an article published in 1990 that described both the brainwashing-like techniques employed in its Discipleship Training Schools and
its financial exploitation of its recruits.
In 2006, a poster at a Catholic message board noted with alarm that YWAM appeared to be attempting to infiltrate Catholic Churches in Europe and Africa by setting up Discipleship
“YWAM Has been under investigation as a possible cult,” the poster wrote. “Several complaints have been
filed with the San Francisco City Hall Mayor’s Office regarding YWAM ‘missionaries’ harassment of homeless
Catholics and Gays. On several occasions homeless Catholics were not allowed to pray their rosaries at the YWAM mission because
YWAMers believe that the rosary is idol worship. One YWAMer even threatened to throw a homeless man’s rosary into the
garbage simply because she saw it lying on the couch. On another occasion a homeless man who happened to be Gay was told by
several YWAMers that he should ‘come to Jesus because Jesus will make you straight’. They continued to do this
even after he repeatedly stated that he did not want to be made straight.”