Who is the "Clarion Fund" and why is it paying for placing 28 million copies of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" DVD's in swing state newspapers?
The Clarion Fund, who's website only identifies the group as "a 501(c)(3) organization. We are independent and do not accept funding from the U.S. Government, political institutions, or foreign organizations." It does not identify who it's board of directors are, but says it's "mission is to educate Americans about issues of national security." Their focus "is on the most urgent threat of radical Islam. By utilizing the following three mediums, Clarion Fund is helping Americans understand that the mainstream media is not adequately conveying the reality of radical Islam."
Through some web digging, I was able to identify three players, Raphael Shore who is a Canadian citizen who is the producer/co-writer of the film and founder of the Clarion Fund, Wayne Kopping, a South African national, the director and co-writer and Gregory Ross, who is the communications director of this New York based non-profit group. Ross was "originally from Los Angeles and have lived overseas for many years. I moved back to LA from New York after 9-11, and a stint on Wall Street, and started working in the Hollywood Entertainment community." Ross does not disclose how the film was produced, but is quoted as saying "The film was financed by a concerned citizen who has a long standing relationship with our organization. The cost was under $500k and it took over a year to complete." Something about this group doesn't pass the smell test, particularly when no information is available about its donors and board of directors.
Maybe most concerning about this film is that, according to Ross "I know that the U.S. Department of the Navy uses the film and that it has also been shown on Capitol Hill on many occasions in order to education politicians. We have also screened it at countless universities and colleges. However we are unsure as to if it is being used in their curriculums – we certainly hope it is." A film that
By law, 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, so it was surprising to learn that there was an article on the group's new Web site, www.radicalislam.org, that backed Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The article discussed both candidates and concludes:
"McCain's policies seek to confront radical Islamic extremism and terrorism and roll it back while [Barack] Obama's, although intending to do the same, could in fact make the situation facing the West even worse."
According to Clarion Fund director of communications Gregory Ross, the article "crossed the line" and was removed.
Gregory Ross also said in an interview with Frontpage magazine, a right-wing online publication, "we are just a few weeks from completely our next documentary, “The Third Jihad” - though it is not a sequel. This new film will take a look at radical Islam’s activities here in the U.S. We should be releasing the film in early October. So stay tuned."
Stay tuned indeed, as this group tries to scare voters with their own form of psychological terrorism.