Collective Shout and the Christian Right have so many close links that they can’t be separated. Collective Shout can only be understood as a front for the extreme right wing religious conservatives they are so close to. Here are just some of the groups on the Christian Right that Collective Shout members are actively involved in, CS has direct links to or uses for campaign materials. There’s a disturbing amount of anti abortion, homophobic and anti marriage equality material common to these groups.
Family Voice Australia – The Festival of Light
Family Voice Australia are one of the longest running right wing christian lobby groups in Australia. Founded in 1973 and known as The Festival Of Light until 2008, their longest term leader was arch-conservative fundamentalist christian MP Fred Nile – who refers to homosexuality as a “mental disorder”
Family Voice are opposed to – abortion and morning after contraception, homosexuality, marriage equality, adoption or surrogacy for gay couples, sale of sex toys, decriminalisation of sex work, reproductive technology, euthanasia, equal opportunity laws, decriminalisation of cannabis, harm minimisation drug education, and pornography. They have made submissions to government advocating mandatory internet filtering to censor a wide definition of sexual content.
What’s the Collective Shout connection? There are similarities in their campaigns – both orgs have made similar submissions on the same government inquiries into censorship, sex work, on individual cases of film censorship and more.
What’s the direct link? Collective Shout heavily promoted a ‘symposium’ organised by a group called PornHarmsKids for Feb 2016 featuring Melinda Tankard Reist as one of the speakers. Remarkably for a group organising a public symposium on a social issue they have no contact information on the website, no staff, no leadership, they are completely anonymous. But there is a ‘smoking gun’- their website pornharmskids.org.au is registered to Family Voice Australia, and their contact is Collective Shout’s ‘director of operations’ Coralie Alison.
Here’s the whois info retrieved 7th Jan 2016
This raises questions – are the academics and professionals booked to speak aware that the organisation running it is owned by Family Voice and Collective Shout fundamentalists? Do they see any professional, ethical conflict in being used as a fig leaf to lend academic credibility by association to the campaigns of those groups? And do they have any concerns about the lack of disclosure, particularly given the Family Voice connection to MP Fred Nile and his political party? Why did they agree to speak at an event organised by an anonymous group, with no history and no identity?
PornHarmsKids and the symposium are part of a christian censorship campaign using the emotive issue of child exposure to porn to advocate for the extensive and regressive censorship regime, for adults, that both Collective Shout and Family Voice Australia have detailed in their past submissions to government. The astroturfing PornHarmsKids org has signalled an intention to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry on ‘Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet’, closing December 2016. I’m certain the guest list of speakers will be used to attach the credibility of their qualifications and the institutions they represent to the submission. Even if their material is explicitly not used their presence is all that is needed, a factual list of participants at the symposium which generated the submission. Expect the submission to be like previous ones from Collective Shout and argue for a very broad censorship regime of all popular culture, far beyond what may be needed to protect children from harm, measures the experts linked to it may not agree with, and don’t need to for the purposes of borrowed kudos and credibility.
Marriage Alliance – Sophie York
Marriage Alliance is a Catholic lobby against Marriage Equality. Their 2015 advertising campaign was an exercise in hate speech that made false and offensive claims about gay families taking away the rights of children and threatening everyone’s ‘freedoms’. Spokesperson Sophie York, is an LNP conservative candidate, Councillor of the Catholic Lawyers group St Thomas More Society, and a proud Collective Shout member. She is also friends with former Prime Minister and right wing Catholic, Tony Abbott, and his family.
Sophie York’s website has had all mention of the LNP & Collective Shout removed, both groups who might be sensitive to the reputational damage of being connected to her advocacy against Marriage Equality during the brutal and hurtful disinformation campaign being waged by her group and others in the lead up to the non-binding postal survey in 2017. But luckily the internet has a memory and she previously was quite open and proud of her membership of the LNP and Collective Shout.
One of the very first members of Collective Shout was Catherine Smibert who works for similarly named Christian web design company Virtual Shout.
Catherine helped organize Collective Shout’s 1st birthday party
There she is with founder Tankard Reist in front of the original Collective Shout logo featuring what looks like a wedding ring. First I thought it was a halo, but now I’ve seen some of Catherine’s other work I’m convinced it’s a wedding ring, symbolising the values of a group of married, heterosexual, Christian women. It also neatly points to Collective Shout fitting what churches call ‘women’s ministry’. Because women are not permitted to lead or have authority over men in conservative churches they are allowed ministry to women and children – which is Collective Shout’s brief exactly.
The wedding ring design was used again for Catholic astroturfing groups lobbying against marriage equality. Here’s her sites for ‘Protect Marriage NZ’ and ‘Australian Marriage Forum’.
Catherine works for designers Virtual Shout, with their “faith based expertise”. And she hilariously refers to Jesus as “the best Brand Maker of all time” which, ironically, clashes with the whole story of him chasing the money changers out of the temple for turning religion into commerce.
Catherine and Virtual Shout helped Collective Shout smarten up their web presence
Virtual Shout also designed sites for the Australian Christian Lobby and various catholic anti-gay groups, in fact they seem to specialise in work for anti-abortion and homophobic groups. And Collective Shout.
This group is cited by Coralie Alison as a research source (may 2015)
CovenantEyes puts the biblical case for censorship and sells web filtering software for Christian censorship.
Almost devoid of research but cherry picks and quotes out of context inconclusive studies for outrage.
CE published a glowing praise filled interview with The Duggars in Feb 2015, the family who openly defended their son and did not report him to the police for child sexual abuse against his siblings and other children.
CS get their non-referenced ‘porn stats’ from Covenant Eyes here –
In Dec 2014 one of Covenant Eyes anti-porn speakers was charged with peadophilia –
Interestingly Collective Shout are super quick to call out any material they perceive as promoting peadophilia, but remain silent when a priest or member of a church group is charged with the crime. They still see Covenant Eyes as a reliable source of campaign material on sexual morality. And what Christian can resist a tasty conversion story?
LifeSite – Campaign Life Coalition (CLC)
LifeSite is a Catholic Anti Abortion, anti homosexual propaganda site run by Canadian pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition. “CLC president, Jim Hughes, is currently also vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation.”
Collective Shout staffer Coralie quoted and linked to an article on LifeSite about Chomsky. No surprise that Collective Shout look for campaign materials from pro-lifer Right Wing Christian groups.
Here’s the article –
Christians adapt themselves intellectually and psychologically to an infallible messiah complex, in which they follow a divine leader who is always unquestionably right, because he’s god. They frequently make the mistake of assuming those who disagree with them think the same about their cultural heroes or leaders. Sadly for them basically nobody on the left is of the opinion that everything Chomsky says is the gospel to be slavishly followed and agreed with. The arguments still have to be considered on their own merits. I’m not interested in a defense of porn here, no doubt some porn is degrading of women, and some is not. My interest is to uncover and disclose Collective Shout links to socially conservative, politically right wing Christian groups. The author of this article is a proud anti abortion campaigner –
In classic Right To Life Christian bigotry LifeSite claims abortion and homosexuality are part of an “international conflict affecting all nations”.
LifeSite also make the predictable ‘grassroots’ claim common to the Christian Right, another example of how much language and strategy Collective Shout share with similar religious lobby groups.
Uh, grassroots, the Roman Catholic Church is sooooo grassroots. Also what the hell is this priest doing with the tiny statue of a tortured naked man?
National Center on Sexual Exploitation – A Lesson in Propaganda
Coralie Alison quotes this org –
Here’s the article she linked to
The article is by Haley Halverson who has a double major in Politics & Christian Studies, and wrote her thesis on “the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution.”
Mel Liszewski is also on message with the Christian Right –
The NCSE was until very recently called ‘Morality in Media’, it is an anti-porn anti-sex lobby formed by Priests in New York 1962. The org is well known in the US as an aggressive and conservative Christian morals lobby. Because we trust priests when it comes to matters of sex right?
The most telling thing about this blurb is the use of the made-up word “pornified” which has been copied by Collective Shout. Collective Shout get their campaign language directly from the American Christian Right. Like conservative politicians they use the propaganda technique of controlling language in an attempt to control the way people think about issues. They repeat terms like this to always frame discourse according to their policy and values. They consistently call any advertising or publication they judge as too sexual ‘porn’, regardless of whether it meets the commonly agreed definition. Zoo magazine had no nudity or depictions of sex, but the entire Collective Shout team refered to it as Porn, despite it not meeting classification standards for pornography. They call T-Shirts with women in bikinis on them porn. They call a lingerie store a “sex shop”.
This is typical propaganda, repeat the lie and exaggeration until everyone uses the same language and comes to agree with your extreme position. It’s the same technique the Right used from the 90s changing the language around Global Warming by insisting the UN call it ‘Climate Change’. That’s far less scary, and doesn’t require urgent action in quite the same way now does it? The compulsive need to control language and limit debate is common to conservative politics, and the impulse to censor and gag opposition has always been an identifying feature of the Right, and of the Christian religion. Again this is the personal style of former journalist Melinda Tankard Reist, to use persuasive, exaggerated language to elicit an emotional response and bypass critical reasoning. Right wing propaganda 101.
Cited as a research source by Coralie Alison here,
Is a devout Mormon (LDS – Latter Day Saints) teacher –
Protect Young Minds – (PornProof Kids)
This Mormon org was called Porn Proof Kids until March 2016.
They’re quoted by Coralie Alison here –
Retweeted by Collective Shout and Melinda Tankard Reist here –
This is an excellent illustration of the Christian Right circle jerk. ProtectYoungMinds, PornHarmsKids (the pro censorship anonymous group run by anti abortion Christians Family Voice and Collective Shout), Covenant Eyes, Collective Shout, Australian Christian Lobby, Family Voice etc etc constantly promote each other’s posts, retweet each other, and cite each other as sources. The funniest one is the tiny narcissistic loop of Collective Shout ‘director of operations’ Coralie running both her twitter account and the CS one, and retweeting herself from both profiles.
Protect Young Minds appear to be Mormons (LDS – church of Latter Day Saints), but will link to any Christian Right group that share their ideology.
CS use material from evangelist group Rescuefreedom.org
“motivated by a belief that jesus calls us”
Collective Shout retweeted this Matt Fradd article about porn in jan 2017. https://twitter.com/CoralieAlison/status/817991377980010497
According to his website Matt is a “Catholic Apologist and speaker”. Here’s an article he posted promoting the deeply homophobic teaching that same sex attracted people can be saved only if they remain celibate, and try really really hard to pray the gay away –
Another anti abortion Christian campaigner. Quoted by Coralie Alison, again in a coded style that implies support,
Garratt fights abortion by ‘incrementalism’ and shame