Updated August 2012
The links below are broken. The PDF file is now available here.
Washington Window, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Washington [D.C.] has a major feature in the May issue, in two parts, entitled Following the Money: Donors and Activists on the Anglican Right.
You can read it online here: Part 1, and also Part 2. Or the whole thing is available as a single PDF file here. (375 K)
Jim Naughton is the author of this work.
The first part of the series, “Investing in Upheaval,” draws on Internal Revenue Service Forms 990 to give a partial account of how contributions from Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., the savings and loan heir, and five secular foundations have energized resistance to the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate an openly gay bishop and to permit the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships.
The article sets contributions to organizations such as the American Anglican Council (AAC) and the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in the context of the donors’ other philanthropic activities which include support for conservative political candidates, think tanks and causes such as the intelligent design movement.
The second article, “A Global Strategy,” uses internal emails and memos from leaders of the AAC and IRD to examine efforts to have the Episcopal Church removed from the worldwide Anglican Communion and replaced with a more conservative entity. The documents surfaced during a Pennsylvania court case. The article also explores the financial relationship between conservative organizations in the United States and their allies in other parts of the world.
And that’s not all. Two other items just published touch on the same area:
If anyone still had illusions about the political slant of the IRD… from politicalspaghetti
This Schism Is Brought to You by the IRD by Daniel Webster in the Witness.
For the part of the Washington Window article that refers to UK recipients of funds, see below.
Update Friday 5 May This is reported in the Church Times Family trusts ‘fund ECUSA’s Right’
Extract from part one of the WW article:
By 2004, the AAC was a well-established advocacy group, not unlike others that flourished in Washington . It spent just under $600,000 that year on employee compensation, $124,000 on travel, and $114,000 in printing and publications. 39
It was also developing a global reach. Summarizing its expenditures for that year, the AAC says it spent more than $361,000 on “advocacy and diplomatic efforts with international partners on issues surrounding Anglican communion.” Three of those partners-the British evangelical organizations Anglican Mainstream ($60,000), the Church Missionary Society ($27,000) and the Oxford Center for Mission Studies ($7,000)-received gifts from the AAC during 2003-04. 40
The AAC was not the only Ahmanson-funded organization aiding conservative Anglicans in the United Kingdom . The International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians (INFEMIT), which is based at the Oxford Center for Mission Studies (OCMS), pursues philanthropic activities beyond the scope of an advocacy organization. 41 However, it plays a significant role in the Anglican controversy.
From 2000 to 2004, its American branch, INFEMIT USA , which lists the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Institute as its U. S. mailing address, contributed $357,414 to OCMS and $262,000 to the Network for Anglican Mission and Evangelism, (NAME.)
NAME held an international conference in Africa in 2004 which produced papers justifying the actions of foreign bishops who had claimed Episcopal churches as their own, or announced plans to found a missionary church in the United States. 42
According to IRS Forms 990, INFEMIT USA raised more than $2.75 million from 2000-2003. More than $2.6 million was contributed by an unnamed donor or handful of donors. It is not clear how much of this money was donated by Ahmanson, but he listed INFEMIT 14th on the list of charities to which he has given the most money. 43