Via Willmar City Council Member Ron Christianson's Facebook page, we learn of a new venue for Minnesota's anti-Muslim speaking circuit: the Let Freedom Ring forum, which will host anti-Muslim speaker Chris Gaubatz on October 2 at a location to be announced.
The event is the second offering by the group, which brought Phil Haney to The Harbor church in Spicer on September 11. Read about Haney's beliefs at Right Wing Watch. Willmar Radio' spoke to Haney here. Let Freedom Ring events are hosted by the THEE Book Club (more about this group later).
Judging from the Let Freedom Ring event post announcing the October event, Gaubatz spoke to the THEE Book Club in a non-public event earlier this year:
With this newly added event, we will continue to review our ever-changing society, both nationally and locally. We strive to educate the public on these changes; where we fit in and how we respond. All the while, staying the course and reflecting on our chosen Bible verse Ephesians 6:12-14; standing on His firm foundation!
Our key-note speaker for the evening will be nationally known patriot and speaker Chris Gaubatz. (yes, you can GOOGLE him). He will be recounting his story into a most secretive underworld. We were blessed to welcome him only a couple of months ago and he graciously accepted our second invitation! This is a 'CAN'T MISS" event!
Please RSVP to receive details on the venue when that is revealed at a later date!
Who is Chris Gaubatz?
Gaubatz drew the attention of the City Pages late last August, with Susan Du reporting in Conspiracy theorist claims Muslims have 'no-go zones' in Minneapolis:
Chris Gaubatz and his father Paul Gaubatz enjoy a hero status among those searching for evidence that national civil rights organizations like the Council for American Islamic Relations and the college group Muslim Student Association prop up international terrorists.
The two co-authored a book in 2009 called Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America, which galvanized conservative members of Congress to accuse CAIR of planting spies on Capitol Hill. CAIR responded there was nothing sinister about encouraging young Muslims to get political internships, and soon sued both Gaubatzes.
The suit swirls around the creation of the book. . . .
Du discusses the lawsuit (latest court opinion we can find is here-) then reports:
The Gaubatzes have been appearing on the conservative news site World Net Daily recently to stir up support for their legal fight. In an article published Wednesday, Chris claims, per his expertise on all things “Muslim insurgency,” that Muslims have taken over Minneapolis and created "no-go zones."
“We’re seeing in Europe the migration of Muslims into European countries, completely changing the demographics of Europe,” Chris told World Net Daily.
“You have entire enclaves that are essentially no-go zones, for not only law enforcement, but also citizens.”
Chris’ attorney did not respond for comment requesting the real-world location of these no-go zones. . . .
The notion of "no-go zones" in Minneapolis--home to thriving Somali refugee communities--is a cherished article of belief in conservative anti-Muslim circles. The City Pages' Cory Zukowski reported in 2015 that Family Research Council president Tony Perkins Thinks Islamic Law Has Overtaken Parts of Minneapolis. In April 2016, Bluestem posted about how No-Go Zoner Clare Lopez spoke to Republican Seniors in Burnsville; group is MNGOP affiliate, after Right Wing Watch (April 5) and Joe Conason's National Memo (April 8) report that Ted Cruz advisor Clare Lopez brought up the debunked notion of no-go zones during an April 4 interview on Dan Ochsner's "Ox in the Afternoon" radio show which airs on St. Cloud's KNSI Radio.
Young Gaubatz was late to the party for that urban legend. As for the veracity of the no-go zones, we recommend heading in and picking up some delicious sambusas.
What is the THEE Book Club?
The forum is sponsored by the THEE Book Club. The latter bills itself on Facebook as:
. . .a small group of Christian patriots; small in numbers but strong in effort because we are obedient to the Lord’s Word, Will and Ways. We are not ones who believe in oneness because one does not make an army. We are minutemen who believe in many! We are a group that is Biblically foundational; we are driven by our love of God and love of our country! We pray on Ephesians 6:12-14 to give us strength and courage to journey into territories that may have struggle, strife and uncertainty at times but we know that no matter the path that lies ahead, our true victor has already WON!
We believe in facts and truth, not hearsay, rumors and lies. We live by our Bible but secondly we live by the law of our land, our US Constitution. The very constitution initiated and written by founding father of this great country of ours. Men also guided by love of their God and love for their newly formed country. Men who sought life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness free from the dominance of monarchy and government restraints.
The public nature of the events appears to be fueled by the extreme conservative star-power of its speakers. Fagerlie-Ahmann posted about the announcement of group's first speaker, Phil Haney:
It was to be more private but when we found out we were to be blessed by Phil's presence, we made it more public and shareable.
The THEE Book Club Facebook page was created on August 28, 2018.
Another sort of club: one leadership faction in Willmar
Rick Fagerlie, the brother of THEE Book Club organizer Fagerlie-Ahmann, is on the Willmar City Council and was part of what the West Central Tribune in 2016 called the "Ron Christianson-Steve Ahmann-Tim Johnson-Rick Fagerlie faction." According to the paper, this faction punished anyone whom it perceived as opponents; one example cited was state representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, who was not re-appointed as president of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission because of his involvement in an effort called Moving Willmar Forward.
We started this post with mention of City Council member Ron Christianson, who has served on the Willmar council since 1994. He is not seeking re-election, telling Willmar Radio that his retirement is related to public criticism he received about his Facebook activity in 2017.
As we noted in Willmar city council member Christianson under scrutiny for liking racist & mean Facebook posts, Christianson wasn't only "liking" posts, but commenting on them as well.
The West Central Tribune's reportage about the criticism is available here. Bluestem covered the unfolding story in several other posts:
We'll keep an eye on this development in Willmar's culture wars.
Photo: Spicer is Nicer. But not always. It's not clear if the next Let Freedom Ring event will take place there.
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